1. NAME OF PROJECT: The Solar Village Search Engine
2. DATELINE: Website launches on 5 December 2018
The Solar Village search engine will allow users to search the internet. Utilising conventional search engine technology, it will deliver relevant search results and sponsored links for users. Income from the latter will be directed towards solarising villages in India. Hence the installation and use of the Solar Village as a default search engine, on the web browsers, will contribute to making people’s lives better – one search at a time. Solar Village has been developed by Auroville Consulting, a Unit of the non-profit Auroville Foundation.
4. BACKGROUND CONTEXT:
The Solar Village search engine shall raise funds to address energy poverty in rural India. Millions in rural India suffer from power cuts that last several hours every day. Rural communities suffer more than urban ones. They cannot consistently meet basic needs and their industries, which depend on reliable power supply, are unable to function at optimum capacity. Everyone suffers economically and residents are forced to migrate to cities to seek work. These are some of the long-term socio-economic impacts of energy poverty:
- Low quality of life: Basic needs i.e. lighting, water supply, and cooking are affected due to the unreliable power supply.
- Academic impact: The absence of electricity affects a child’s ability to study as the sun sets.
- Impact on commerce: Electricity consumption is closely related to economic growth. The Central Electricity Authority found that at a GDP growth of 9% per annum in India, the power sector must also grow at 7.2% per annum. Unreliable power supply diminishes industrial output and therefore affects employment.
- Increasing migration from rural to urban areas: As a result of point 3, people are forced to move to urban areas to seek employment.
A big share of Tamil Nadu’s electricity supply comes from conventional energy sources, contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Conventional electricity generation poses a threat to the State’s water security given that it generates a higher water footprint than renewable energy sources. In addition to improving electricity access for rural areas and to address water security and climate change issues this project seeks to empower local community by distributing benefits arising from the sale of solar energy.
Martin Scherfler, Co-founder of Auroville Consulting said:
“I feel passionately about the ways in which technology can make people’s lives better. Solarisaring villages is a clear way in which we can help the environment and help people. This is a passion I share with many people around the world. Using the power of the net therefore seemed an obvious way in which all those who share my passion could contribute to making a greener world – without any additional cost to themselves! I urge everyone to support the Solar Village Search engine and its ultimate goal of solarising 100 villages.”
5. ABOUT THE UNIT:
Auroville Consulting will be responsible for the overall implementation and management of the Solar Village Initiative and the search engine. Founded in 2010, Auroville Consulting is a unit of the non-profit organization Auroville Foundation. It has a wide range of expertise in ecological and socially responsible development. We collaborate with academic, private and public sector partners both in India and internationally, helping to develop sustainable urban and industrial development policies, ecologically friendly technologies – and the minds of future leaders. The latter we do with inspirational thought leadership and courses in aspects of sustainability. We live and work in Auroville, an UN-backed global center of sustainable practices dedicated to the ideal of human unity.
6. CONTACT INFO:
Contact: Auroville Consulting (Martin Scherfler / Magalie Gillard)
Tel: +91 (0413) 2622 571