keeping with its ideals of sustainability and self-sufficiency,
Auroville seeks to promote renewable energy for its development
needs. Fossil fuels represent a limited source of energy, and
their use causes depletion of natural resources, severe atmospheric
pollution and climate change. In contrast, renewable energy
sources, such as sunlight, wind, and biomass are practically
inexhaustible and cause minimal environmental impact.
units, such as the Auroville Centre for Scientific Research
(CSR), Aurore, Auroville Energy Products and Aureka have demonstrated
the feasibility of renewable energy systems, by successfully
installing them in Auroville and other parts of India.
Many early Auroville settlements depended entirely on renewable
energy systems such as wind pumps, biogas plants, solar water
heaters and photovoltaic solar panels. As such systems were
not widely used in India at the time, very little research and
development was being conducted in this field.
however, drawing on its own first-hand experience, subsequently
improved upon existing renewable energy systems, particularly
in the field of wind pumps and biogas plants. Major renewable
energy institutions in India, such as the Ministry of Non-Conventional
Energy Sources (MNES), Govt. of India, and Indian Renewable
Energy Development Agency (IREDA), recognizing Auroville's interest
and commitment, became partners in the township's research and
Auroville units have successfully installed renewable energy
systems, not only within the township area but also in other
parts of India. Aurore is a leading renewable energy unit in
Auroville that uses innovative concepts to set up renewable
energy enterprises in India, to productively network with related
organizations in India, and to design or develop renewable energy
products. It provides technological expertise, managerial support
and occasionally seed capital to the new enterprises it helps
to set up. CSR conolidates various environment-related research
activities in Auroville. It
is a growing centre of learning that offers workshops and conferences,
to promote sustainable use of resources. Auroville Energy Products
concentrates on the production and distribution of electronic
control systems for renewable energy installations.
Photovoltaic cells for lighting purposes are widely used in
many houses in Auroville.
solar power plant in the centre of Auroville generates 150 kW
daily for lighting the Matrimandir. It is one of the largest
stand alone photovoltaic power plants in India, and serves as
a test case for decentralized power generation.
has also constructed a very large (15 meter diameter) solar
concentrator that produces steam for cooking meals at Auroville's
Solar Kitchen, which feeds 1,000 persons a day. Aurore has installed
solar photovoltaic array cells for pumping water in Auroville,
the surrounding states, and other parts of India. Aurore has
successfully developed and disseminated in India, solar lanterns
and solar-tracking systems. Various equipment related to the
use of solar energy are either assembled or manufactured by
Auroville units. Several prototype electric vehicles charged
by photovoltaics have been developed in Auroville.
Aureka has developed a multi-blade windmill, the "AV 55",
for pumping water. Nationally recognized for its efficiency,
"AV 55" windmills are now marketed in India and are
also exported to African and Asian countries.
Energy Products has installed a wind-diesel generator in Gujarat,
and is implementing a mega-project in West Bengal that consists
of 10 wind generators of 50 kW each plus two 180 kVA diesel
Recognizing India's latent potential for micro hydro-electricity
projects, Auroville Energy Products has designed small hydro
electricity plants that can be assembled by the local people.
Four such plants have been installed in hilly regions in India.
CSR developed India's first prefabricated biogas plants in ferrocement
and subsequently improved on its design. It now installs biogas
plants inside and outside Auroville.
Auroville looks forward to being a place that will depend primarily,
or even solely, on renewable sources for all its energy needs.
It constantly seeks to collaborate with and learn from experiments
in renewable energy systems elsewhere in the world, and to share
its knowledge and expertise in this field with others.