Ladakh, often called the 'roof of the world',
is located at quite a remote location. Electric lines are few in the region, and the ones that have been set up often go out of commission whenever heavy snowfall takes place. Thankfully, Ladakh has always received high intensity sunlight round the year, and the local people have been putting that to good use, earlier to dry vegetables and fruits to prepare winter rations, and now to generate electricity. The crystal, clear sky and pollution free mountain air has allowed most of the sun's rays to hit the land, and has facilitated the process.
Indeed, Ladakh can boast of housing possibly India's first, truly solar powered community. Solar power modules
are used to generate electricity for almost any kind of task. Be it keeping lights burning in the homes round the year, or running small scale home appliances necessary for food processing without putting any stress on the national grid, citizens of Ladakh have learned to rely on solar modules for almost all their tasks.
The story does not end there, either. Solar energy has provided enough surplus electricity for citizens to light their torches and lamps when they go out at night. One incident is particularly worth noting here. There was a time a few years ago, when a massive mud slide had blocked all roads leading to and from Ladakh for about a month. However, that did not disrupt the normal lives of citizens living here. They simply set up their solar energy systems and went about their business. Lights were lit all night, and the food processing tasks went on as usual. A month later when the traffic in the region was finally stabilized again, people living here did not feel like much had changed. Sure, they could not venture out of their neighborhood for some time, but that's about all they suffered from it. Now that is the advantage of a solar powered community.
Will this example be followed by other states in India anytime soon? The proper answer to the question might be unknown at this point of time, but one thing is for certain. Any region that follows Ladakh's example is sure to prosper a lot more than it did ever before. After all, solar PV modules offer free electricity combined with major savings – what could be better than this?