A UK university is to lead a project aimed at turning villages in India into solar power stations.
The £7 million funding from the government has been awarded to a Swansea University-led consortium of 12 UK and Indian universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Brunel and Imperial College London.
The project called SUNRISE will develop printed PV cells and new manufacturing processes, which can be used to build solar products in India.
These will then be integrated into buildings in five villages, allowing them to harness solar power and to provide their own energy and run off grid.
The project aims to encourage local industries to manufacture affordable prefabricated buildings that can generate, store and release their own power.
It follows last year’s opening of Swansea University’s “energy-positive” classroom, which generates power through a steel roof with integrated solar cells, connected to two batteries. They are capable of storing enough energy to power the building for two days.
The classroom also uses Tata Steel’s perforated steel cladding for the generation of solar heat energy, which can be stored in a water-based system and an electrically-heated floor coating developed by the SPECIFIC consortium researchers.
Professor Dave Worsley from Swansea University, Head of Research at the SPECIFIC project and leader of the SUNRISE team said: “The energy-positive classroom we built shows that this technology works, successfully turning buildings into power stations.
“This funding will enable us to export this model to support India’s plans to boost solar energy.”