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Submission + - Indian project shows solar power affordable - U.N

sas-dot writes: A solar power project in India supplying electricity to 100,000 people will be widened to other developing nations after showing that clean energy can be cheaper than fossil fuels, a U.N. report said on Sunday. BBC News says that the $1.5m project, led by the UN Environment Programme (Unep), supports Indian bankers who offer finance to people who want to purchase a unit. The sunlight-powered systems are used to light homes and shops instead of expensive and polluting kerosene lamps. Officials hope to expand the scheme to Tunisia, China, Ghana and Indonesia. Before the UN project was set up, purchases were predominately cash only — making the devices too expensive for most people. The Indian Loan Programme helps its bank partners offer lower interest rates, longer payback periods and smaller deposits. "This project removes one of the main barriers to the shift to solar power — lack of financing," said Jyoti Painuly, a UN senior energy planner. "Asking customers... to pay cash for solar systems meant asking them to pay upfront an amount equal to 20 years of electricity bills." In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the UN says a single wick lamp each year burns about 80 litres of kerosene, which produces more than 250kg of carbon dioxide. An estimated 100 million families in India use kerosene lamps.

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