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The SunPedal Ride

published: 2016-05-10 17:10

5 states and 7,000+ kms on a solar powered electric bicycle to raise solar awareness

Sushil Reddy, an IIT Bombay alumnus from Energy Science Department, will be riding a solar powered electric bicycle across 5 states and 7,000+ kms in India starting 7th May 2016 for approximately 70 days. This will be done with a support vehicle and a support crew. Rajendra Bhaskar, an IIT Bombay student will be riding along Sushil throughout the journey as a support crew.

Throughout the journey of 70 odd days, they will talk to people about the importance of solar energy at the grassroots level at certain schools/universities/organizations on the route.

Government of India launched the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission under which, the target is now to generate 100,000 MW of Solar Power in India and also MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy) has envisioned this target to be achieved by the year 2022. There is an estimated requirement of 300,000 skilled solar professionals comprising of multiple skill set ranging from research, design, engineering, installation, operation and maintenance, sales and marketing. Currently, the number of skilled solar technicians in India is approximately 40,000. There is an urgent need to empower people with solar. Hence there is a need of making people aware about the opportunities available in the upcoming solar energy sector.

The SunPedal Ride is supported by the Title Sponsor, Intersolar, India's Largest Exhibition and Conference for the Solar Industry. The event’s local organizer is MMI India Pvt. Ltd. and its international contacts are Solar Promotion International GmbH, Pforzheim and Freiburg Management and Marketing International GmbH (FMMI). The renewable energy group Mahindra Susten and Applied Materials are the co-sponsors for the ride.

The Solar Bicycle will be a great example to showcase the application and potential of solar energy throughout the ride and the ride itself is aimed to unite and educate people over a cause which will dominate the future energy needs.

Route for ride: IIT Bombay, Valsad, Surat, Baroda, Ahmedabad, Bhavnagar, Diu, Somnath, Porbandar, Dwarka, Jamnagar, Rajkot, Mt. Abu, Jodhpur, Bikaner, Bhatinda, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Roorkee, Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Deogarh, Udaipur, Gandhinagar, Bharuch, Surat, Vapi, IIT Bombay.

The route has been chosen and planned considering maximum sunshine, favorable terrain, weather and safety for cyclists.They will be riding approximately 100-120 kms per day. They will be talking about the energy scenario, electricity scenario and the solar energy scenario in India giving facts and numbers. These facts and numbers are backed by team kWatt Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a solar energy company founded by Dr. Chetan Singh Solanki, an IIT Bombay Professor in the Energy Science and Engineering Department. They will also talk about the importance and potential of solar energy, the challenges and opportunities in this upcoming solar energy sector, thus motivating people to go for solar. The solar bicycle demo will also be given during the journey.

Also they are contacting organizations like Teach For India, AIESEC, Jagriti Yatra and individual contacts on the planned route to help them co-ordinate and organize this presentation in the cities where we have planned to halt on the route.

During the ride, funds will be raised via a crowdfunding campaign to get solar power to a rural school in Jatwara of the NGO, Hockey Village India. There are frequent power cuts in the rural school where kids are empowered using education and sports. Solar power in this village will help these kids to study and progress better in their lives. The NGO is run by a former German National Hockey player, Andrea Thumshirn. Andrea met Sushil in July 2015 and discussed the plan to get solar power for the school. A crowdfunding campaign will be started before the ride.

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