zondag 5 april 2009

Solar loans light up rural India

The UN Environment Programme is leading a big project in India. The main goal of the project is to help families to get a loan for buying home solar power systems. The UN supports Indian bankers who offer cheap loans to the Indian people to purchase a system unit.

The rural Indian people are used to light their homes with kerosene lamps, which are expensive and polluting. These lamps can be a danger for the health of the people in their poorly ventilated houses and produce more than 205 kg of carbon dioxide a year by one family. The UN thought that solar energy could be a solution. There was one disadvantage, the cost. An average solar power system (able of powering two to four small appliances or lights) costs about $300-$500 and that’s too expensive for the most families over there. For this the UN started the project, the Indian Loan Programme helps banks to offer lower interest rates and longer payback periods to the people who want to invest in a solar power system. According to the UN, the project is a success. More than 100,000 people in rural India have benefited from an innovative loan scheme.

I support this project of the UN. The main goal of the project is to make life better for the people, so I think that everybody would support it. It is true that the use of solar energy will be healthier than kerosene lamps and will make energy bills cheaper. Another small advantage is that it will reduce the pollution. There will be more than 100,000 people less who use kerosene lamps. The reduction of pollution will not be that much, but I think that every little thing can help to solve the pollution problem and to stop global warming.

Robby Lampens

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6600213.stm

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