Promoting Solar Energy and Solar Innovations in Rural Areas

Time: Tuesday, 16 October 2018 at 9:00–12:00
Venue: Kepa (Finnish development NGOs), Dialogi room, 5th floor, Elimäenkatu 25-27, Helsinki

How can the new Indian solar innovations reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit other parts of Global South (besides South Asia), and how could the western development NGOs assist in their dissemination?

Programme (pdf presentations can be downloaded from the links below):

Dr. Sunil Agarwal: Technological Advancement for Rural Areas (TARA) Scheme

Yogesh Kulkarni: Using solar energy for improving livelihood in rural India – Vigyan Ashram’s experiences

Dr. Rakesh Kumar: Societal impact of solar application on mountain community  (Uttarakhand, India)

Dr. Lal Singh: Innovative Solar water and space heating systems for mountains – a case study of the Indian Himalayas

Dr. Reghu Rama Das: Potentials of Solar Energy for Rural livelihoods

Sini Numminen: Is solar energy sustainable? Challenges of operating solar micro-grids in rural Uttar Pradesh (India) - a university research case study in seven villages

Eero Oksanen: Promoting solar energy in Finland

Amelie Oheim and Teresa Lopez: EKOenergy's Climate Fund tackling poverty through supporting solar energy projects

Kari Silfverberg: What’s happening in the field of solar cookers?

Professor S.P. Gonchaudhury: How the new Indian solar energy innovations are making solar energy affordable for the billions

General discussion


Free entry but please register your participation at:

Organized jointly by InSIC, Kepa and Siemenpuu Foundation

See also the facebook event


For a long time, solar photovoltaics has been far too expensive to be genuinely useful for the world’s three billion poorest people. However, since then the prices of photovoltaic panels have been reduced by 90 per cent and many countries – especially India – have started to develop new and very affordable solar energy technologies geared for the needs of the poor households.  India’s new Surya Jyoti micro-solar dome, costing just 10 euros, can provide lighting for the day-time and 3-4 hours after sunset, and its pay-back time as savings in kerosene and electricity is around three months.  NBIRT’s new solar-powered water purifier can provide clean drinking water for a middle-sized school with the expenditure of 600 – 800 euros. Small amounts of solar power or affordable tegs (thermo-electric generators) are making it possible to design biomass cookers that produce one hundred times less particle emissions than the traditional models. This is important, because according to World Health Organizations the particle emissions from traditional cooking stoves annually cause 4.3 million premature deaths.

Could Finnish development NGOs and their international umbrella organizations and sister organizations in other countries assist the government of India and the Indian civil society in spreading these new, revolutionary solar technologies to other parts of the world, including different regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as Europe and North America?


Related events

16 Oct 14:15-18:00 at Aalto University: Sustainability challenges: Current and future trends in solar energy – focus on India

17 Oct 14.15-16:00 at the Parliament's Kansalaisinfo: Solar Energy for the Billions

17 Oct 16:30-19:00 at Kepa: A general brainstorming and planning meeting related to INSIC’s future plans and activities. Register at


About InSIC

InSIC (International Solar Innovations Council) is a new international organization or network which aims to catalyze solar energy innovations that are relevant also for the world’s two or three billion poorest people. Most of the presently existing governmental or private research & development programs have only focused on the needs of the wealthier people.

The InSIC process was launched in 2017 because of an initiative coming from professor S.P. Gonchaudhury, one of India’s most prominent solar energy scientists.  When professor Gonchaudhury visited Finland in October 2015 he was inspired to develop a new kind of micro solar dome, Surya Jyoti, which became very successful. Because of this experience professor Gonchaudhury proposed for Finnish solar energy activists and researchers that Indians and Finns should establish a new, relatively small but super-efficient international organization for catalyzing innovations in the neglected areas of solar energy, or where important bottle-necks were still blocking the progress of the great global (solar) energy revolution.

InSIC as an organization is still in its very early formative stages but it did have a preparatory planning meeting in Kolkata, India, in April 2018 and there will now be another planning and brainstorming meeting in Helsinki with several side events (see above). They will be participated by six prominent guests from India: Dr Sunil Agarwal from India’s Department for Science and Technology (DST), and the leaders of five parastatal organizations that have a permanent research & development relationship with DST: professor S.P. Gonchaudhury of Nath Bose Institute for Rural Technologies (NBIRT), Lal Singh of Himalayan Research Group (HRG), Rakesh Kumar of HESCO, Reghu Rama Das of Mitraniketan and Yogesh Kulkarni of Vigyan Ashram.

Further information: Risto Isomäki, INSIC and CED, r.isomaki(at), 044 3442414