“The Solar Fix” - New film reveals challenge of broken solar equipment in India

11 October 2016

“The Solar Fix” - New film reveals challenge of broken solar equipment in India Edinburgh

Around the world 1.1 billion people continue to live without access to electricity. Solar energy is a vital solution to challenges of energy poverty in South Asia and Sub Saharan Africa.

But what happens when solar powered systems break down? A new film, The Solar Fix, produced by the University of Edinburgh and ECCI residents Scene shows the scale of the challenge.

The Solar Fix journeys into three villages in the Indian state of Odisha, where over 200,000 solar systems have been installed by governments and international NGOs since 2009.

Last November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told crowds at Wembley Stadium in London that all non-electrified villages would receive electricity within 1000 days. The Solar Fix reveals the difficulty of connecting people to reliable energy systems in rural India and keeping equipment working over time.

Since 2014 Scene and the University of Edinburgh have led the development of repair and maintenance services for solar energy in rural India. Supported by the Scottish Government’s Small Grants for International Development programme, the team have been looking into the barriers to providing rural populations with access to electricity.

They have built a new mobile and web platform – Urjaa Samadhan - that connects people with broken solar equipment to a network of local repair and service providers. Vijay Bhopal, Co-director of Scene, commented: “We have seen the tough reality of chronic lack of energy access in rural India through this Scottish Government supported project.

The energy access problem runs deeper than simple provision of basic infrastructure, and has profound and indeed preventable economic and social impacts.”

To watch The Solar Fix, visit http://www.solarfixfilm.net/

To support the project, visit http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/smartsolar