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Renewable Watch

 

 In 1997, Devendra Kumar completed his B.Tech. From the Delhi College of Engineering .A year later, he joined Essar cell phone. At the time , the telecom sector was coming up in a bog way and most people wanted to be a part of the revolution anticipated in the field .An electrical engineer, he started handling the passive infrastructure for the company . Some of the best opportunities came his way when Hutchison took over Essar. “Hutchison started pumping money into the company, which is when the network really started growing,” kumar says.

  During his tenure with the company, he was sent to Vietnam. The country was facing an acute low voltage problem. Kumar designed a static voltage regulator, which fixed the problem for the operator. However, the assignment that he enjoyed the most involved deploying a fuel cell at one of the Hutchison sites I Delhi. “Designing and installing eco-friendly power solutions is my passion. And I knew that some day, I would do just that,” he says.

  So, in 2008, he and his colleague quit Vodafone and started Delton infra. The company is involved in providing clean energy solutions for telecom and power sector companies .Kumar is also trying to customize these products to suit rural needs .He recently designed a solar system that consists of a mobile charger, a radio and torch. “The idea is to provide people in rural areas at least the basic equipment .At times, they have access to mobile phones, but there is no power to charge them with,” he says.

  In fact, Kumar feels very strongly about creating “something “ that could make a difference to the lives of people living in villages, particularly in off-grid areas .He feels that the government has done little to advance the cause of renewable energy in India .”If you go to china, you will see a solar water heater on every rooftop. They have solar street lights everywhere,”he says. He was hoping that the government would remove the duty on solar inverters or provides tax relief 

  He believes that the government should make eco-friendly solutions like water harvesting or installation of a solar/hybrid system compulsory in every household. He would also like the subsidy levels for renewable energy system in off-grid areas to be raised from 30 per cent to 60 per cent. He admires china for taking such initiatives.