SEMINAR: Attaining and Sustaining Energy Access through Local Solar Ecosystem
UN's Sustainable Development Goal #7 (SDG-7) aims to provide clean, affordable, reliable and modern electricity access to all by 2030. There are nearly a billion around the world who do not have access. The question is not only how we can achieve the SDG goal but more importantly, how we are going to sustain it in times to come? Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has evolved a concept of Solar Ecosystem by locals for locals (SELL) through large scale field implementations. Over 2.5 million households in India have got benefited from these efforts. The SELL or localized ecosystem envisages creating an interconnected network with localized consumption, localized supply and services, localized financing and even manufacturing. These efforts have also received Prime Minister's award for innovation. The seminar discusses the concepts and practices required for providing quick, cost-effective and reliable energy access.
Chetan Singh Solanki
Professor, Department of Energy Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay (India)
Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, besides being a professor is also an educator, innovator, educator, researcher, entrepreneur, author and philosopher, known for his remarkable work in the solar sector. Prof. Solanki was born in a small village called Nemit in the Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh. His primary school had just one class room and a teacher at that time. Having studied in the light of the kerosene lamp himself, Prof. Solanki is now committed to providing clean light to all. He received his Ph.D. from IMEC (Ketholik University) Leuven, Belgium, a leading R&D and innovation hub in micro and nano-electronics.
He is currently leading two projects of national importance on the dissemination of affordable solar technology. The National Center for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE) houses one of the best research facilities on Photovoltaic (PV) technology in India. It is funded by the MNRE, Govt. of India, to provide R&D and education support for India’s ambitious 100 GW solar mission. Prof. Solanki is one of the Principal Investigators at the center. Prof. Solanki is also the Principal Investigator in the Solar Urja through Localization for Sustainability (SoULS) project at IIT Bombay, which aims to provide solar study lamp to every child in rural India as part of its ‘Right to Light’ mission.
He also started kWatt Solutions Pvt. Ltd. which is a technology driven company focusing on energy optimization and technology customization to provide economic renewable energy solutions by developing and nurturing a network of entrepreneurs.
Dr. Solanki has taken several initiatives at social front as well. He is the founder of Education Park, an initiative in school education, which provides “high quality and affordable education & training in rural India”. Education Park has been built through public support with unique solar passive infrastructure, and its 14 acre campus runs on 100% solar energy. He founded ROSE, an organization for supporting education in rural India during his doctoral study in Belgium.
Dr. Solanki’s SoULS project implemented in Rajasthan received the Prime Minister’s award from Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in April 2017 under ‘Innovative Project’ category. He has won the European Material Research Society’s young scientist award in 2003 and IIT Bombay’s Young Investigator Award in 2009. He has published over 100 research papers in reputed international journals. He has 4 US patents to his credit with several more under review. He is a member of several national committees related to on Solar Technology. Prof. Solanki has authored 4 books on solar and renewable energy. One of his books titled, ‘Renewable Energy Technologies—A Practical Guide for Beginners’ (Hindi) got the first prize from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Govt. of India in 2011.