The onset of the summer season reminds us to switch on our ACs and reduce the thermostat setting to 18 deg C, lower our blinds and switch on lights, increase the fan setting to max, etc., It also reminds us to take out our fancy pair of sunglasses and apply multiple layers of high SPF sunscreen and sunblocks to protect our skin from the harmful UV rays.
So when I began humming this song, I questioned whether the lyrics are apt for us? In true conscience, do we say it's alright when the sun falls on us? Well, the answer is a loud NO! Especially when the scorching sun hits the roof of our terraces and makes our homes feel like a hot oven.
Most often, we don't realise that by turning the thermostat set to 18 deg C, not only are we not addressing the issue, but we are spending more money to cool our homes.
So how do we solve this problem for Us? The solution is simple; we protect our homes just the way we protect ourselves.
Let's say you live in a villa; the best way to protect your rooftop is by installing Solar Panels. Or you are living in a high-rise apartment, your solution here is the same too (however, high density communities have limited roof space, but something is better than nothing). Not only do rooftop solar panels generate electricity, but they cool the rooftop's immensely. It's like putting on your sunglasses.
Residents in many communities have realised this potential and have covered their rooftops with solar panels. When we had a casual conversation with one of the residents in a gated villa community in Gachibowli, she proudly said that it's a one-time investment and a long-term benefit for her family and the environment.
The rooftops are the most unused space in homes, which absorb the heat from the sun and dissipate this inside homes. If you open Google Maps and check the aerial view of the densely populated communities, you can see grey patches all over and little pockets of greenery. These grey spaces have a high 'thermal mass'. To simplify, they are bad insulators of heat, thus making our homes hotter and hotter. Hence, the smartest thing would be to protect or insulate our roof's and solar panels just do both.
India has seen rapid growth in terms of solar capacity, which has increased in the last 5.5 years from 2.6 GW (Gigawatt) to more than 34 GW. This makes India now at 5th Global position for overall installed renewable energy capacity. The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is encouraging the usage of solar power by offering incentives and encouraging states to give subsidies to end-users.
Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is a success." The same holds for community rooftop solar panel installation.
Through our new initiative called Organo Et Communities, we are approaching various Gated Communities in Hyderabad to understand how they can save energy bills through solar installation. There are, of course, challenges to this, and we would like to understand them better through you.
If you or your community have thought of installing solar but could not get them yet, the following survey form will help us help you. As a first step, you can circulate this survey link on your common Whatsapp groups to your neighbours and community association members to make the impact larger.
The intention of this survey is too understand your experiences and setbacks in installing solar panels on your rooftop and/or in your community.
We have learned many lessons while developing our Net Zero Energy Community at Organo Naandi. We want to help you make your community become the next Net Zero Energy Community through our experience.