Scientists at a Durgapur-based research institute have developed a 'solar tree' made out of photovoltaic panels at a cost of Rs 3 lakh each. The 'tree', which will require less than 4 sqft space, can power about five households.
Union science and technology minister Dr Harshvardhan, on his maiden visit to Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI) at Durgapur, inaugurated the 'Solar tree' developed by chief scientist of CSIR-CMERI Dr Sibnath Maity on Tuesday.
Dr Maity said that two 'trees' will be installed at the office of the ministry of science and technology and Dr Harshvardhan's bungalow in New Delhi on July 1.
Dr Maity said, "It takes about 400 sqft to set up a solar panel, but we have developed it in less than 4 sqft. These 'solar trees', when planted on both side of the highways, hold the capacity to produce 1 lakh MW of renewable energy. Each 'tree' can power about five households."
Dr Harshvardhan said that he will request other ministries to follow the eco-friendly project, which will help curtail energy bills. "Initiatives like this will promote usage of green and clean energy and will help the nation combat the threat of pollution," he said.
At the event, Dr Harshvardhan drove a newly developed e-rickshaw and an all-terrain-tractor developed by CMERI scientists. He also visited the underwater robotics labs and the shallow water autonomous bathymetry.
CMERI director Harish Hirani said, "Dr Harshvardhan appreciated CSIR- CMERI's exemplary work in various fields and encouraged the scientists to think of more innovative products, which will impact the lives of ordinary citizen."