Solar Saves Lives: Chengannur Indian Rooftop Solar Plant Makes World of Difference

We know solar power is useful – but did you know it could be used to save lives? In Chengannur, a rooftop solar power plant has been put to great use.


Dr. AP , a steadfast environmentalist, installed a rooftop solar power plant at his home five years ago in . This is in the Kerala’s Alappuzha district in South India. It is a place famous for the Chengannur Mahadeva Temple and its old Syrian Church. And it certainly has some notable, forward-thinking residents. Take Dr. Sreekumar, for example. He had no idea at the time he installed this power plant that one day it would save lives when the area became devastated by flooding. But in fact, solar power has proven extremely beneficial if not life-saving, once again.

What Happened in Chengannur?

The short answer: major flooding. Power distribution shut off when the electricity board powered off in order to prevent additional damage from occurring during the flooding in Chengannur. However, at this time, Sreekumar’s house (close to the Chengannur Mahadeva Temple) continued to have electricity thanks to his solar powered rooftop – and he was able to provide adequate shelter for five families.

Solar: Allowing People to Stay Connected

Refugees were able to use the solar power to send SOS messages. People were able to charge their phones and remain connected with those in the outside world – without solar power, this would not have been possible.

The doctor was able to use the solar power to connect with local youths who were working with police, rescue and fire personnel to carry out rescue operations – for example, the rescue of an elderly man and his son who were left stranded. Of course, this is not the first time that solar power has been incredibly useful if not totally instrumental during a natural disaster – in this particular case, however, the individual who made the decision to go solar did not know said decision would greatly impact the lives of others, too.

Solar: Being Used to Make the World Better

You might know solar is being used for humanitarian efforts worldwide. For example, the United Nations Migration Agency, in response to major water scarcity in Yemen, is using solar to offer access to clean water in communities where the supply is either unaffordable or nonexistent. Deep wells and pumps powered by solar have been installed in multiple communities. This is just one other example in which solar is being used to make a positive difference.

Another example would be in Puerto Rico after Maria. A firehouse in Naguabo, a southeastern municipality where Maria initially hit, was able to remain energized because of a solar system led by Empowered by Light, a nonprofit based out of San Francisco. Maria damaged water resources and communications but Empowered by Light worked with the Las Vegas Fire Department in an effort to set up solar hubs for firehouses on the island. Sunrun provided solar batteries and solar panels, and a construction company set up solar powered water filtration units. Individuals and companies alike worked together to put solar to good use.

But back to how one man’s has been used to save lives…Sreekumar also has a hospital run by solar power – Indukantham Hospital – and it was able to house five families, including in-patients. Along with his wife Dr. Lakshmi Sreekumar, he administered first aid to numerous individuals, including fishermen who were hurt during rescue operations.

The Benefits of Solar Power Are Indisputable

Have you ever had to deal with a lack of power? Has a natural disaster ever negatively impacted your life? How could solar have been used to make a difference? Continue to stay in the know regarding developments in the world of solar by following solar news – you are sure to learn new things and realize ways renewable and solar could be used to truly make a difference in the world. Solar can hugely benefit the lives of people across the globe – we see this truth on a regular basis thanks to innovative persons and corporations alike recognizing the need to make a shift in the way we do things.





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