Supporting green power

The Energy [R]evolution demonstrates how the world can get from where we are now, to where we need to be in terms of phasing out fossil fuels, cutting CO2 while ensuring energy security. This includes illustrating how the world’s carbon emissions from the energy and transport sectors alone can peak by 2015 and be cut by over 80 percent by 2050. This phase-out of fossil fuels offers substantial other benefits such as independence from world market fossil fuel prices as well as the creation of millions of new green jobs.

In India, because our energy infrastructure is not fully developed as yet, we have the opportunity to make the right choices today. We can choose between abundantly available renewable and sustainable energy that is the way the world is going to be powered in the future or the old, dirty energy technologies that will drive India’s dependence on foreign countries for supply of fuel, whether it is nuclear, coal or oil.

Decentralised renewable energy:

In an effort to bring about this revolution, Greenpeace India is working to promote Decentralized Renewable Energy (DRE).  Decentralised energy systems are based on the idea that energy doesn’t have to be generated in one giant centre and then transported long distances. It can be generated near the place it is needed, and often under the control of the people who will use it.

As decentralised energy system serves people locally, it will necessarily be smaller than the huge power stations in a centralised system.  Renewable energy technologies are ideally suited to this type of small-scale energy generation and have the advantage that they won’t pollute the air, water and land of the people who live nearby.  Renewable energy technologies also don’t generate greenhouse gases and therefore won’t exacerbate climate change.

In India, where the vast size of the country and the huge power deficits mean that most people – particularly those in rural areas – can’t rely on their electricity supply, DRE systems are particularly relevant.  The beauty of operating on such a small scale means that the energy supply can be designed to exactly suit the needs of the community it serves.

Depending on the natural resources available, people can choose to capture solar power, wind power, the power of moving water using micro-hydro technology, or a combination of all of three. There are many other forms of renewable energy present in the world too, and we’re getting better at capturing them. Systems can be isolated – these are called ‘stand-alone’ – or can even be connected to the main electricity grid – these are called ‘grid interactive’. Grid interactive systems have the advantage that the owners of the system can actually sell power to the grid if they generate excess, creating another source of income for them, or draw extra power if they find they ever need more.

Examples of DRE systems are cropping up all over India.  In Bihar, over one lakh people are using electricity made from waste rice husk.  In Ladakh, tribal communities are processing their farm produces with machines powered by micro-hydro. In Karnataka, villagers are cooking food on clean gas flames produced by cow manure. We’ve set out to document some examples such as these and will be posting the details soon.

The latest updates

 

Renewable energy sources can meet the growing electricity demand of Bihar: Nitish Kumar

Feature story | May 22, 2012 at 15:30

Renewable energy is the only way to meet the requirement of electricity deficit said Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar. He said this during a business meeting, where he expressed his views about renewable power generation through maximum use...

Smart Energy Access report

Publication | May 15, 2012 at 16:07

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. The energy shortage is most acute among India’s rural poor and in states such as Bihar, where more than 80% of the population still live in the rural...

Apple: the writing’s on the wall

Blog entry by Kat Clark | May 15, 2012

For over a month now, our supporters around the world have been helping us tell Apple that they want a clean iCloud. Apple’s executives have thus far ignored the hundreds of thousands of people asking them to use their influence for...

A sustainable energy promise

Blog entry by Mridulika Jha | May 14, 2012

Power-cuts have a major impact on our daily schedule. Now think of the people residing in the rural areas, having very little access or no access to electricity. All of us need electricity. But using unsustainable energy sources...

Greenpeace reminds Apple of its professed sustainability commitment

Press release | May 8, 2012 at 16:42

Bengaluru, 8th May 2012– Greenpeace activists today installed a billboard in front of the Indian head office of Apple here in Bengaluru asking the company to ‘Clean our Cloud’. The activists along with Apple customers urged the head of Apple...

Activists block shipment of mountain top removal coal

Blog entry by gwisniew | May 4, 2012

A set of train tracks in rural North Carolina is not the kind of place that brings iPads to mind. But this railroad is part of the chain that links you and me – and anyone who uses the cloud – to the massive destruction caused by...

Apple: Think Different about your dirty energy

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | April 27, 2012

The Internet and social media are extraordinary engines of change helping to drive revolutions and positive social change. They’ve become central tools for how we bring pressure on polluters and governments. But if we are not...

Google Welcomes Greenpeace Clean our Cloud Report

Blog entry by Kevin Grandia | April 19, 2012

In response to the Greenpeace How Clean is Your Cloud report released yesterday, Urs Hoelzle Google’s Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure in a statement published in the New York Times said that: “The...

How Clean is your Cloud - Apple responds

Blog entry by Gary Cook | April 18, 2012

Our new report “ How Clean is Your Cloud ” is out today - to show that the massive increase in Internet use is mainly being powered by dirty energy. Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all score badly in the report for relying on dirty coal...

Low-cost solar PV pumping set demonstrated in Kalyan Bigha by Greenpeace

Feature story | April 16, 2012 at 12:15

Asserting the fact that small-scale, decentralized renewable energy systems holds the key to development for rural India, Greenpeace today, demonstrated and installed a solar power pumping system at Kalyan Bigha (native village of Hon’ble Chief...

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