Rural Energy: From Kerosine to LED

Van Mensvoort
July 6th 2012

While for most of us, happy blog readers, access to electricity is taken for granted, things are quite different in developing regions of the world. In India for example, over 65% of the population still lives in rural villages where electricity supply is very limited. If an electricity grid is at all available, it is typically very unstable.

Since electricity is known to be an engine for development, it makes sense to bring electricity to the rural villages of India, however, these rural areas cannot rely on the top down grid-electricity solutions. Local energy generation and concepts for distributed energy networks are more promising.

Marcel van Heist, designer and recent graduate at the Next Nature Lab at  Eindhoven University of Technology went to India with the goal to introduce distributed energy solutions in rural areas. After investigating the established Kerosene based energy models, Marcel came up with an alternative based on solar powered LED lamps built from locally available materials. Here's how.

Study the existing kerosene-based lighting solutions.

Investigate the current energy distribution model. This could use some lightness.

So let us install a solar panel on Mr.Ranjit's rooftop.

And gather some locally available materials...

To build some clean solar powered LED lamps

Add an indoor charging station for the lamps

Smiling Mr. Ranjit with his panel. The man is now an entrepreneur!

Anyone in the village can rent a fully charged clean LED lamp from Mr Ranjit now.

Much better than the stinky kerosine lamps we used to have.

Enjoy your solar powered LED light. Do read a book and study whenever you want!

Download the entire project report. Read more about the latest updates on the project at

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1

Be the first to comment

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Koert van Mensvoort: The virus makes us aware of other lifeforms with other perspectives, desires and needs. It also teaches us that we are one humanity. These viral invaders don’t discriminate on the basis of nationality, race, income, social status, political or sexual preference. We are together and must work together to overcome. Stay safe.

Already a member? Login.