In our fight for a cleaner and greener planet, victories are often far and few. It takes years for campaigns to bear fruit and for our volunteer community to see tangible results of their long and hard work. 

On Saturday, January 31, 2015, our volunteers witnessed one such amazing story when Holy Family Hospital launched the operation of a 300 KW roof top grid tied solar PV system- the first phase of their work to move towards an alternative and cost efficient means of generating power through solar energy.

“A generation of 30% of the total load is expected from the solar rooftop”, says  Mr.Sunny George , Engineering Head. Electricity generated is directly fed into the main electrical LT panel in sychronization with the grid power. The hospital,instead of spending on the solar power had a agreement with a company to provide solar energy in PPA model(Power purchase agreement),for 20 years.

05 February 2015

Volunteer Iqbal Munawwar chats with Fr. George P A, Director of Holy Family © Iqbal Munawwar


Our engagement with the Holy Family hospital- a charitable organisation- goes back to 2013 with the Switch on the Sun campaign. The hospital has always been been progressive, and a leader in adopting cleaner energies. In 2008 they had installed 22000 LPD solar water heating system, and were keen on taking the next steps to ensure they reduce their energy cost. The rising cost of energy was a big concern to them. 

Our volunteer Iqbal Munawwar attended the inaugration ceremony of rooftop solar installation at Holy Family Hospital, New Delhi:

The installation of solar power plants at Holy Family Hospital reflects the achievement of a long and exhausting struggle lead by Greenpeace India. The energy they have put in the campaign “Switch on the Sun” clearly shows its magnitude by the outcomes it has achieved. I was not involved in the campaign but I can feel the happiness other volunteers (who were involved) must be experiencing right now. It’s a time for celebration but not to relax. Fr.George P A (Director Holy Family Hospital) is a source of inspiration for all of us.

05 February 2015

Solar panels installed on the rooftop of Holy Family Hospital, New Delhi © Iqbal Munawwar


We need more people like him who are not only willing to accept the need for this change but also are welcoming such change. I think we all can pitch and advocate for the idea to our educational institutes. Although current government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi upped the country's investment target for solar alone to $100 billion, saying India would scale up solar power to over 10 percent of its total energy mix by 2022* but there are two important aspects of this news. One is that we have seen that after coming to power, many such promises (that were done before elections or right after forming the government) have been put aside one after another and were never cared to be go through again. Secondly any government may put efforts and capital into such new projects but can also fail to complete the targets due to pressures by corporates whose interests are conflicting or due to inability to enlist people’s participation and support in the implementation of project. In both situations, we may need to mobilise such people who are more and more willing to go for such a change. People like Fr.George P A, when they grow in numbers can certainly help us in maintaining government’s consistency in such programmes.

We hope that the new government can pick up the work that we started in May 2013 and help Delhi transition into a cleaner, greener and sustainable city.

Iqbal Munawwar is a volunteer at Greenpeace India 

Sanchita Mahajan is the volunteer coordinator at Greenpeace India