Originally posted on Medium (www.medium.com)

The Perks of Being an Independent Power Producer

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Written by Aravind Kannan

Mar 23, 2018 • 4 min read


We deserve the power we produce.

As the great Indian summer rapidly approaches, people in most parts of the country will be battling against two of the world’s biggest problems — apart from waiting for big summer movie releases of course.

The climate change.

This summer is going to be hotter than ever with erratic and lower rainfall.

This means that more people are going to purchase and use air-conditioners, refrigerators, and every appliance invented to maintain a pleasant lifestyle experience. That brings us to the consequent problem that most of us will be facing.

The energy crisis.

The increased demand for electricity in the summer and the lack of its supply will result in a higher frequency of power outages.

Whatsapp chat with BESCOM helpline
BESCOM’s WhatsApp Helpline

I stay in Bangalore, and in March alone I have faced more power cuts than the last 6 months combined. In fact, I experienced three power cuts in the two hours that it took me to create and post this article online. The problem is real and the government alone does not have the bandwidth to provide a fast-tracked solution.

However, the solution isn’t beyond our reach. We can not only safeguard ourselves from this impending summertime sadness but also bail others out as a trickle-down effect.

How do you do that?

By becoming an Independent Power Producer (IPP), that is, anyone who produces their own power to meet their own energy demands.

Who can do that?

An IPP can be anyone, even someone doing something as simple as installing solar panels on their rooftop to let people know that the world isn’t ending.

India versus Nigeria, power outage
India Compares With Nigeria In Number Of Monthly Power Outages (Source: World Bank)

Individual House Owners, Apartment Associations, Factory Proprietors, Business Owners, Tech Park Builders, Hotels, Hospitals, Schools, and literally anyone can become an IPP(Read more: Solar Is This Farmer’s PridePotential for Solar Energy in an Industrial Area)

In India, you can become an Independent Power Producer by adopting one of the three popular options at your disposal.

infographic on renewable energy
Energy For All (Always?): Renewable Energy

You can tap the sun’s energy by installing solar panels on your premises. Solar energy is the most practical, accessible, and affordable way to become an IPP. 
 
With the Net Metering policy in place for solar power producers in most Indian states, all the excess power that you produce during the day is exported to the electric grid. Therefore, by becoming an IPP, you are adding extra electricity into the grid for others to use during the day, which translates to a lower probability of power cuts.

In addition, by becoming an IPP, the net metering policy can help you reduce your monthly electricity bills by 100%, that is, net-zero electricity bills. A win-win, right?

While the above-mentioned grid-connected system does not store any power, you can always choose to store the power from your solar panels in battery packs and use it as a back-up during untimely power outages or planned maintenance.

(Read more: India’s Rooftop Solar Irony)

You could also harness the energy from the gentle breeze and the stronger wind. Remember the land breeze and the sea breeze diagrams from sixth standard geography? Yes, that is no longer a problem but a solution.

Wind energy works best as a backup solution in remote locations which are literally off the grid. Do you have a farmhouse or a getaway cabin in the outskirts of a city? You could power it with the wind. (Read more: This apartment in Bangalore has adopted wind energy and solar energy)

Using the water’s energy for electricity is possible as well. As with wind, this is a great backup solution for a remote location that is closer to nature — at least until we find a way to use all those water rides in amusement parks for this.

Today, as a result of both government policies and technological inroads, adopting solar power is the easiest way to become an independent power producer, IPP. The takeaways for an IPP are crystal clear and clean. (Read more: Investing in solar is better than putting your money in the bank)

You are insulated from any future price hikes by your electricity provider.

You get to reduce your electricity bills by up to 100%.

Your appliances would have a longer lifetime.

You would be directly impacting the reduction of power cuts in your neighbourhood.

Want to be a neighbourhood hero?

Forget SpiderMan. It is time to avenge the random power outages in your local area, by becoming an Independent Power Producer, IPP.

With greater responsibility, comes greater power.

Originally posted on our Medium profile • Mar 23, 2018
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