Renewable energy crucial for smart energy

Abu Sufian

Many people, particularly the marginalized and other low-income sections, are getting benefits from the solar charging systems installed here commercially aimed at lessening the gradually mounting pressure on electricity.

Launched as a model, the project has been meeting up the power deficit side by side with generating hope among the public in general for the last couple of years. Auto-rickshaws are being given charges at a cost-effective rate through the solar charging system creating hope among the auto-rickshaw drivers and owners at Damkura area under Paba Upazila in the district. Apart from charging auto-rickshaws, the solar system has also operated an auto-rice mill that also created a positive impact among the surrounding people at Chabbishnagar area under Godagari Upazila.

The solar power charging stations were installed with the technical and financial support from Rajshahi Palli Bidyut Samity (RPBS).

At Damkura, 66 solar panels with 320 watts pick capacity were installed on 2000 square-feet rooftop space of a multi-storied dwelling house generating 70 to 90 kilowatts of power everyday on an average. RPBS installed the system at a cost of Taka 48.5 lakhs. Shafiqul Islam, owner of the house, told  that he has earned Taka 35,000 after charging auto rickshaw during last eight months expecting that the monthly earning will increase in future. The house-owner gets fifty-percent of the profit share as per contract signed between the two sides. He will be capable of charging 15 auto-rickshaws everyday in the days to come instead of the present five to six ones. Apart from this, power can also be supplied to households and business establishments on a limited scale from the generated power system. As an eco-friendly and cost-effective venture in the area, the charging station will play a vital role to charge the rickshaw batteries instead of using any grid power. Meanwhile, 37 panels with a capacity of 320 watts have been installed on 1000 square-feet area in an automatic rice mill at Chabbishnagar area at a cost of Taka 5.5 lakhs generating power from 40 to 45 kilowatts every day. On the other hand, solar power has brought a social change in many hard-to-reach villages under Godagari and Paba Upazilas in the district.  Although there are problems with food and healthcare services the villages have become enlightened with uninterrupted electricity generated from solar panels. The power also brings many positive changes to the living and livelihood conditions of the villagers in many ways.

Talking to , solar power user Abu Kalam of Char Mazar Diar said he could not even think about electricity an era ago though it has become a reality as the villagers there can avail of this facility.

Char Asariadaha Union Parishad Chairman Ashraful Islam told  that around 35,000 people live in the villages and 14,500 of them in six villages got the power supply connections. The beneficiary villages are: Ashariadaha, Panipar, Bhubanpara, Kanpara, Hanumantanagar and Nawshera. He said the char villagers and owners of the solar power units either suffer from low-voltage or load shedding and some of them are crushing paddy at nights using electricity from solar plants. Engineer Ekramul Haque, General Manager of RPBS, says the Damkura and Chabbis Nagar projects have become instances in terms of green energy production. The power generated in an eco-friendly system could also be added to the national power grid.

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