Energy subsidies which cost the world USD 5.3 trillion in 2015 – 6.5 per cent of the global economy. According to 2011 Census only 55.3 per cent of rural homes used electricity as the primary source for lighting. Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) electrified villages leaving out only five per cent remote villages which were being targeted for decentralized electrification.
In such areas, going for an uncustomary approach to solve the energy problem may at-least mitigate the power crunch till the government is able to bring grid supply to the region.
One such technology is GravityLight.
Instant off-grid light, anytime. Light powered by weight - no sun or batteries needed.
GravityLight is a lamp that is designed to hang from suitable fixtures in a house or dwelling. It uses a bag that can be filled with heavy items and winched up. As the bag descends it drives a generator through a gearbox which provides direct electrical power for a single LED. Additional SatLight lamps can be connected to the main GravityLight unit to extend lighting. Multiple Satlights can be linked together.
The original GravityLight is hung in a room and a weighted bag attached to a hook at its bottom. The bag, which is filled with rocks or sand, is winched up and then gradually descends at a rate of about 1 mm, which is able to drive a DC generator at thousands of rotations per minute. The power generated is 1/10th of a Watt.
Use of a pulley system helps the users of any height and weight to conveniently lift the weight. For any setup, there is a trade-off between the brightness obtained and the time for which it stays on.
It can replace the use of kerosene lamps in the developing world and help avoid some of the health and economic costs of it. Also, the use of such simple tech will enable use to create jobs for unskilled labour class, using the manpower to assemble and sell them off to niche rural, urban and even offshore markets.