Greenpeace bike-a-thon calls Delhi to “Switch on the Sun” on World Environment Day

Delhi people peddle to demand clean energy from Delhi government

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Press release - June 5, 2013
New Delhi, 5 June 2013: On World Environment Day, Delhi residents came together to claim their right to clean and sustainable energy and demand the Delhi government to "Switch on the Sun". Greenpeace in association with 92.7 BIG FM organised the first of its kind bike-a-thon in India at Dilli Haat to highlight that Delhi residents have the power to generate their own uninterrupted and clean supply of electricity by installing solar on their rooftops.

The bike-a-thon was organised to raise awareness about solar energy as part of its campaign on renewable energy and symbolised Delhi's ability to become self sufficient to meet its energy needs by installing solar technology on their rooftops. The residents in Delhi are outraged with power cuts and false promises and joined Greenpeace in this innovative event to demand Delhi government to bring a people oriented renewable policy.

Stationary cycles were connected to electrical circuits that generated electricity when people cycled and lit up the message "Switch on the Sun".

"Delhi has immense potential in terms of solar energy and the power of sun can negate the rising power tariffs, prolonged power cuts and the ever increasing gap in demand and supply of electricity. Delhi has been at the forefront for clean energy for its transport, then why can't they take lead in clean energy for people. All that the government needs to do is introduce a pioneering policy on solar roof top that will encourage people to use this infinite source of energy," said Akshey Kalra, mobilisation campaigner, Greenpeace India.

Delhi had performed abysmally in a Greenpeace India ranking of all the states on their renewable energy supply in total energy mix. The report titled "Powering Ahead on Renewables: Leaders and Laggards" shows that Delhi, despite being the national capital and aspiring to be a world class sustainable city, is one of the worst performers.

Attended by National Service Scheme members, cycling groups like Delhi Cyclists and Pedal Yatri, school students, college students, resident welfare associations, senior citizen groups, and supporters, the bike-a-thon created a forum for people to learn about how they can utilise their rooftops for generating electricity by installing solar technology and truly energise Delhi.

"During summers we curse the sun and the heat, but surprisingly, we never realise that this energy can be diverted to light up not just Delhi, but the whole country. I am here to pledge my support for this campaign because I truly believe that renewables can power this country's ambitions. Moreover, this is such a unique way to educate and inform people about solar power," said Anshuman Sood, a cyclist from Anand Niketan, who came to participate at the bike-a-thon.

Along with the bike-a-thon, Greenpeace also launched a platform where residents can get authentic information about scheduled and unscheduled power cuts in Delhi through a Greenpeace and powercuts.in platform to map power crisis in Delhi. Residents can message, mail and call to inform about power cuts and that data is displayed on a map. This crowd sourced data feeds into twitter and can also be used by residents to question DISCOMs and Delhi government's claim about 24 by 7 power supply.

For power cuts in Delhi:

http://load.shedding.in/delhi/

For more information, please contact:

Shachi Chaturvedi, Senior Media Officer, Greenpeace India, 9818750007

Madhulika Verma, Media Officer, Greenpeace India, 9971137736

Shashwat Raj, Senior Media Officer, Greenpeace, 9686861974

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