The project aims to replace diesel/petrol generators with solar panels, to power all the electrical equipment, from lighting to air-conditioners, reported The Hindu.
The project was launched recently and is being implemented jointly by the Energy Management Centre (EMC) and Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for the first few boats.
The cost of the panels and other equipment could be recovered in two years. Reportedly, the power ministry is also considering to provide a subsidy.
The second phase of the project would see the diesel-powered engines being replaced with electric motors. For the same, the administration is working with the Cochin University of Science and Technology.
A C-DAC official informed that houseboats are powered by fossil fuel internal combustion engines. "As part of the central government-funded Low Voltage Direct Current Powered Energy Efficient Houseboats project, we have installed flexible solar panels with a combined capacity of 6 kW in a boat here. A few more operators have shown interest in installing solar panels," he added.
According to the report, a houseboat releases 8.3 kilograms of carbon dioxide per hour on average, and the CO2 emissions from hotel load diesel generators are nearly 5 kilograms per hour. Such boats are in thousands in various parts of Kerala, including Alappuzha, Kumarakom, Kollam, and Kozhikode.
All Kerala Houseboats Owners Associations secretary K. Vijayan confirmed that the houseboat operators were ready to cooperate with the government.