India’s rural solar revolution hasn’t delivered on its promise


Solar power is bringing light to remote villages across India. Rural residents, long disconnected from the grid, are increasingly using solar panels and battery banks to charge mobile phones, illuminate light bulbs, and keep refrigerators humming.

Advocates for rural electrification say solar “microgrids” can do much more. They’ll boost a village’s socioeconomic development by allowing kids to study at night, for instance, or by enabling residents to open local shops and use time-saving tools like electric water pumps and mills.

However, that scenario is still only a dream in many places, researchers said in a paper published Wednesday in Science Advances. Read more…

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