Lighting up the streets with solar lights provides the smartest and safest way to keep the roads, parks lighted, and make walking or travel on highways at nighttime secure and convenient.
Solar Street Lighting System could be the lighting system for illuminating streets and crossroads located in areas that are not connected to the power grid.
In India, even now the main cities suffer from long and unscheduled power cuts. Apart from that, there are so many villages where they don’t know what or when they will see their houses or streets lit after sunset. So here Solar Street Lighting can come as a superhero rescuing all from these challenges.
The option of solar energy is free and always available. Officials claim that solar cells are the best way to extract energy from the sun silently without making a noise. Solar energy is completely non-polluting and require very little maintenance and could be shifted from one site to another easily.
To start with, in Goudaguda, a village in Odisha state, with a population of 1500 Adivasis, the evenings are bright only with Kerosene lights, linking risk of domestic fire and respiratory disease. The worst part is, there is no electricity during the daytime also and the village is completely cut off from all kinds of communication from the main city.
Thanks to Jamie Cross, a senior lecturer in social anthropology and development at the University of Edinburgh, whose visit to that backward village, introduced solar lanterns as gifts to the hosts who took care of him and his family. Solar lanterns have shown a way to the poor Adivasis, that yes there is light available, only Government has to take a step to start a rural electrification program through solar street lights.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in 2019, said his government will implement the ‘Mukhyamantri Street Light Yojana’ under which 2.1 lakh streetlights will be installed all over the city to light up isolated and crime prone areas ensuring women safety as the utmost priority.
Amidst increasing incidents of crime and accidents due to the lack of streetlights in Delhi, it’s one of the best measures taken by the Delhi Government to ensure all shady areas are crime-proof and safe for women and children
Coming to Rajasthan, which has abundant sunlight throughout the year, the best place to generate solar energy, and exploiting this solar power is the right way for the state to lighting the rural areas. Based on this fact, the state government is actually planning to develop smart villages. After Rajasthan and Gujarat, Ladakh is the Next Major Hub for Solar Energy in India
Andhra Government has taken this decision to use Solar Street Lights to light up the beach road. Under the Smart City Project, in a gap of 4 to 6 meters, standalone streetlights with solar LED lighting systems will be installed in the Beach Road from the Coastal Battery Junction to Kurupam Junction.
Success Story of Solar Street Lights
Karnataka, a south Indian state, has been one of the most successful markets for solar lighting systems among Indian states. Karnataka government plans to launch an ambitious self-sustaining solar technology program in 3,900 villages in 39 most backward taluks to cater the energy needs of 50 lakh people.
The solar power will be used for streetlights, household consumption, entertainment/educational purposes, water-lifting for agriculture purpose and so many industrial applications. Eight villages under Doddajalla panchayat, in Karnataka, have solar streetlights installed and are at par with cities with all the amenities.
Balla, a village in Himachal Pradesh, nestled in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, people never used to come out after sunset, terrified of wild animals and streets being completely isolated.
However, the installation of solar lamps outside homes has changed the lifestyle by helping break the darkness after sunset. Now people are no longer scared of darkness. Rather, after sunset, people sit out to enjoy a cool summer breeze and also discuss where to install more lights.
Women are confidently stepping out after dark and mothers started allowing children to come out after sunset. And kids use the solar street lights to study if electricity is out in the house. The project of installing solar street lights has now been extended to underdeveloped states like Bihar and Jharkhand in eastern India.
An initiative taken by India to expand solar energy is lighting up the hill and remote rural areas that have limited access to the electrical grid with tens of thousands of solar streetlamps.
The project for street lighting has picked up the pace, however, there are still so many villages and towns all over India that does not see light after sunset.