Press Releases

  • TERI introduces a unique platform: LaBL Partners in Technology to illuminate lives of those living in the dark

    20 August 2009

    As the world struggles to control energy-related greenhouse gases, electricity-starved rural families in the developing world toil and work without light. The Indian government has steered the process of rural electrification through the use of solar energy that will help reduce GHG emissions and light up the lives of millions. The National Solar Mission is a positive step to popularise the use of solar technologies for the benefit of the masses. TERI has already steered the process of providing solar lanterns to a billion rural households across developing nations through their flagship campaign- Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL). To further LaBL, it has formed a forum to discuss the opportunities and cohesively work towards lighting a billion lives, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) along with manufacturers of solar technologies came together to form LaBL- PaT (Partners in Technology), a unique forum introduced by TERI. Present on the occasion were Ms Gauri Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Dr R K Pachauri, Director- General TERI, Mr Devin Narang, Chairman and MD Freeplay Energy India Pvt. Ltd and Convenor LaBL PaT, along with Ms Akanksha Chaurey, Director TERI among others.

    Speaking on the national importance of solar technologies, Ms Gauri Singh, said, "The launch of this partnership has happened at the right time when India is celebrating Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Diwas. TERI’s LaBL is an interesting initiative as it has given us a way of how such a concept can be structured. It has led to a formulation of business model and led to a building of partnership between corporate houses and users. This is an example of how an innovation can work wonders to take state of the art of the technology to homes without electricity. In the ministry, we are looking at innovations beyond products in terms of pragmatic business models, establishment of networks and partnerships. We are working with the banking sector to smoothen the process of financing that can benefit the masses and will seek TERI’s suggestion on this."

    Elaborating on LaBL and the need for such partnerships, Dr R K Pachauri said, "We are delighted that the time has come for all stakeholders to work together. We need to create a cadre of implementers that can widen the reach of LaBL and help in its extensive outreach. We are on a verge of revolution in this field and it can be possible if we find the right people in villages as implementers and banks to finance it. All this will only happen if we continue to innovate. I feel we need to have IP (Intellectual Property) on products to ensure quality control."

    While addressing the manufacturers of solar technologies present in the occasion, he added, "This initiative has a great business opportunity not only in India but in other parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Latin America and Africa. I hope all of you present here will continue with your dedication and expand its reach not only because it is a business potential but since it is a great medium to create social change."

    Photovoltaic (PV) systems provide a unified solution, bringing power to those that need it, while making a moderate but important contribution to climate protection. This has been possible due to market-oriented activities that increasingly demonstrate the technology’s technical and commercial viability. The sole mission of this partnership is to catalyse innovative and cost effective lighting solutions for rural market in a sustainable manner. The following are the objectives of the forum:

    • Facilitate innovation and development of affordable modern lighting solutions customized to the needs of rural communities,
    • Strive to stimulate niche markets for lighting in a sustainable manner, and
    • Create a platform to promote collaborative research and development towards a brighter future.

    On the occasion, six companies -- Ritika, Agni, Solid Solar, MIC, Halonix, and Free Play were honoured for being the ‘Instruments of Change’ by creating innovative solar lanterns. They are a shining example of how public-private-people-partnerships can work wonders. The LaBL PAT gives a leg-up to the government’s rural electrification policy that aims to bring electricity to all households by 2009.

    PaT comprises of a team that will help disseminate solar technologies among urban poor and rural households where access to electricity is absent or minimal. The LaBL PaT comprises of 19 companies pioneering in the filed of making solar technologies that includes Crompton and Greaves Ltd., TATA BP Solar India Pvt. Ltd., Freeplay Energy India Pvt. Ltd., Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Ltd., and Philips Electronics India Ltd. among others.

    These partners in technology are the partners in transformation -- through combined and continuous efforts in:

    • Design improvements,
    • Introduction of new concepts,
    • Technologies and techniques, &
    • Innumerable other innovations.

    LaBL-PaT will aim at delivering a reliable and field worthy solar lighting device for rural households. The capability that India develops in this area would also have huge export potential.