Sri Lanka tries solar power to pump water in remote villages

July 22, 2009 (LBO) – Use of solar power to pump water in remote Sri Lankan villages in a trial project designed by British engineers helps save fuel costs and could be replicated in other rural communities elsewhere, experts said. The project is now specifically used to rapidly re-settle people displaced by the conflict in the island’s north and east, which ended in May when government forces defeated the Tamil Tiger separatists.

“This is a very exciting project and we are on the verge of seeing how new technology really can change the lives of people in poor areas,” Dharmadasa said.

“By using solar panels we have powered water pumps to benefit all of the villagers and save them money by not having to buy diesel fuel for their pumps.”

The two institutions behind the project also plan to popularise solar energy applications in the Maldive islands. The Sheffield Hallam University in the UK said the solar village project, designed by its engineers, is a useful example of providing electricity to villages not served by the national grid.

The solar village pilot project is now being replicated in other countries, providing free running water to isolated rural communities, it said in a statement.

The project is