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Solar power panels dot the Indian capital. It's working.

Powerland: New Delhi
September 28, 2011 - 4:14pm

NEW DELHI, India — In this sprawling capital city of 16 million people, solar panels are popping up all over prominent buildings, from the Presidential Palace to sports stadiums and even a historical tomb.

It's all part of the Indian government's plan to install solar panels on high-profile rooftops around Delhi, where space is tight and open land is limited.

India's Parliament House Annexe, one of the latest buildings to go green, was recently outfitted with an 80-kilowatt solar system. That's enough to power almost 1,000 lights for eight hours a day. 

A 1-megawatt solar plant also powers Delhi’s famous Thyagaraj Stadium, one of the venues for the Commonwealth Games. The stadium’s 3,640 solar panels cover 2.5 acres of rooftop space, and this installation feeds surplus electricity into the grid. 

With India facing an estimated 15 percent shortfall of energy, the government has big plans to rely on alternative sources, including solar. Under the country’s national solar mission, India aims to increase its capacity to 20,000 megawatts of solar energy within the next decade. 

In a country where multi-hour long power outages plague urban and rural areas alike, solar could be one answer to the energy problem. As Delhi pushes forward with its solar rooftop program, it hopes to set an example for the rest of the nation.

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