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Home News Power Sector News Public sector Banks use solar energy to power rural services

Public sector Banks use solar energy to power rural services

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Punjab National BankIndian Public sector Banks are banking on the power of the sun to take technology to the interiors of the country. Public sector lenders, such as Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of India (BoI), are using solar power to provide core banking solution (CBS), which facilitates inter-branch networking, to their customers in remote and rural areas.

The use of solar power is helping the banks bring down their capital costs in the long run and earn carbon credits, which can be later sold off to companies in other countries for money. Interestingly, PNB is using the stored solar power to light up the street after the branch closes in the evening.

“Interconnecting branches in areas where telephone lines do not exist proved a daunting task. There were difficulties in interiors of Bihar, hilly states and some other areas in the northeast. With the use of solar power, we could implement 100 per cent CBS four months ahead of time,” said RIS Sidhu, chief general manager, PNB.

After PNB and BoI, other banks may also adopt the model to bring down their capital costs, which is one-third of the cost incurred for use of conventional power. Branches of Vijaya Bank have also been covered under CBS through solar power. Dena Bank may also look at adopting solar power as it plans to achieve 100 per cent CBS by December 2009.

“Solar power generation can be a good experience. We have to look at it. The catch is fixed cost is more in use of solar power.

We will look at the experience of other banks before deploying the technology,” said Dena Bank chairman DL Rawal.
According to banks, UPS (uninterrupted power supply) and diesel generators could not have helped in areas that face frequent and long power cuts. Solar power charges the UPS for operating computers as well as lights up office premises in an eco-friendly way.

However, the one-time cost of getting the technology is high, which acts as a deterrent selecting the technology by banks with limited capital to spend on CBS.

Source - mydigitalfc.com


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