Anything that starts in Bangalore has global reach and should solving power cuts also not start from Bangalore. Hence calling for minds.
Guru has visited Coimbatore and has been sharing the impact of power cuts in Tamil Nadu micro enterprises. Micro-enterprises are different from the regular small sector business and run their small outfits out of houses are small 10:15 feet space.
Examples of them can be lathe workshop or coir manufacturer. They typically employ maximum around 1 or 2 people. Their business generates little money to make them afford a diesel generator and their machines cannot be run on inverters. They employ 2 or 3 employees.
They depend on regular electricity The machines need to run a minimum of 2 hours for them to do some decent business. The machines are brought based on money received as loans from the banks.
With no power these people are not able to make money and neither able to pay their 2 or 3 employees. their interest increases and they cannot pay. These tiny industries have their own fixed operational cost (like rent etc) and since production is not giving the required money, they go for loans from money lenders which is around 2-3% per month. They are getting in to loan trap. Banks are not giving loans to such industries as they are unsure about collecting monthly EMIs from them when there is no power.
mid and big industries (particularly in thirupur) are moving to Bangaladesh and Gujarat, where, I believe power is surplus. To give the numbers, Coimbatore district alone, over 5 lakh people are unemployed or under employed. Daily wage workers are worst affected as daily wage is converted to hourly wage (ranging from Rs 18-25 per hour). I am told that they get 3-5 hours of work every day and is highly unpredictable.
I felt initially that there is nothing much I could do about this. I gave my time to think what we can do about this and was it worth to think about even? should we ask them to migrate as there is no power.
Then I realized that
1. Software industry is also dependent on power. If there is no power for more than 3 hours, our laptops would stop working and we cannot write code and generate money. We are organized as large industry and companies have money and afford diesel generators for our offices in addition to malls and our apartments. What will we do if there is no power?
2. The problem faced by people who need power. We both need power. We can run our laptops on inverter. They cannot run their machines on inverter and need high power connection. We have less powercuts, while they have more power cuts. We can afford diesel generator, while they cannot.
3. We can say it is survival of fittest, but are we on equal footing. We have power for air conditioning in malls, while they do not have power for living. Something does not seem to be right.
We can try the following
1. SEZs have a lot of ground space and terrace space. Should they not be asked to set solar panels and generate their power needs from their own solar plant. This would support research and innovation to start in energy space.
2. Have some SEZ already implemented this? if you know that this is already done, please share details and we can run a watch dog operation of IT companies status in this aspect. We need to publish this report
3. I see a report that Infosys is doing green efficiency better than Google. How far it is true? Are they doing it really or it is marketing strategy? Can they share that and work with NASSCOM so all the IT players in India follow this.
I think it will be a worthy effort if companies and malls can be made to rely more on solar… In fact, govt could mandate this, that all IT parks/SEZs/big campuses/malls should go for incremental percentages of their power coming from solar etc.. Over time, this could start applying to apartments/households also..