Story of solar energy powered billboards in Gujarat
After the conventional uses of solar energy, Gujarat government has taken a step forward with an initiative to power the billboards with solar power. This would obviously be a low compared to total energy consumption. But as one likely said, a drop each time fills up the ocean!
On the initiative, the government is likely to set-up a state-level steering committee to lay down guidelines with the help of Departments of Forest, Energy and Urban Development. It will be implemented in seven big cities namely, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Bhavnagar. This has come up live in the moment of IPL which has gone into huge level of billboard advertising. With many such events coming up, the outdoor advertising has again come up in the limelight. Other reality-based shows/ events such as Indian Idol (Singing) and Dance India Dance (Dancing) have been the major driver of billboard advertising on a regular basis.
Currently the solar powered billboards come with an ability to operate 4, 6, 8 or 10 hours a night based on the battery storage capability. The PV panels can illuminate from one/ two sides of a 30-feet wide billboard depending upon the requirements. The current price of a sample billboard is approximately INR 2, 10,000 for a 2 panel, 318 AHR battery back-up, two-side lighting, solar-powered billboard system.
Some of the benefits of a solar-powered bill-board system are:
· do not need to run underground wire from the nearest electrical transformer to the billboard
· do not need to pay the additional costs of digging trenches for underground wiring
· allows the outdoor advertiser to provide consistent, affordable lighting to billboard locations without the need to negotiate with property owners to use their property for underground wiring and landscaping
· no need to meter and bill the Billboard Lighting System.