"Help the government go green....Do you look at ROI for the TV, washing machine, car...then why worry about figuring out the ROI in setting up solar panels in your home [but yes there is a 6%-8% return on investment]? It's not about generating electricity, or biogas or even usable organic manure - it's about ensuring health ... of us, our environment and by convincing others ensuring a healthy and sustainable society."- Solar Suresh, Chennai's Climate Hero and One Man Green Army
He is very clear he is a layperson not a green tech but he has the will to adopt these innovations at any price with extra effort. The will to change to benefit our environment is what is essential. He now is a facilitator for others to go green! He is a star alumnus of IIM-Ahmadabad and IIT-Madras - MBA and B.E.
The Centre for Science and Environment's #CSE publication has summarized Chennai's D. Suresh, the resident of Kilpauk's efforts very succinctly in this short video:
Net-metering through an on-grid solar power system has been functioning in Mr Suresh's Kilpauk home for two years now. Today it will cost about Rs, 70,000/- to install. He also has an off-grid
An off-grid battery solar power system (1KWh system which can power a home) costs about Rs. 1,20,000/- today - this can function as an inverter/back-up for a net-metered on-grid solar power system in city homes for the disadvantage of the the on-grid system is the fact that it looses power when there is current cut/power shutdown/load-shedding.
His home runs on 3KWH panels that even take on airconditioning.
He aims to set up a sewage treatment plant (STP) to reuse the recycled water for gardening and the flushes.
Solar Suresh is also keen to adopt the Israeli water-from-air system, where the indigenous Akash Ganga failed despite community support, the water harvesting techniques from rain-starved Israel work well. A working model is at Connought Place in the capital city.
This water-from-air system can provide employment and deal with the potable water crisis while reducing the market for plastic packets of water and bottled water!
He adopted solar power 6 yrs ago: He hasn't experienced a power cut in these six years
He even had power when the city reeled under the Chennai Rains of November-December 2015 and Cyclone Vardah the following year.
Innovations In Use
- 3KWH solar panels
- Off grid and On grid systems
- He has been harvesting rainwater for two decades now using the simplest sedimentation system and a good network of pipes with his terrace are the clean catchment area 20 years
- His Kitchen garden yields nutritious produce and saves on the family's grocery bill too all the while utilizing the biogas byproduct and ensuring net zero waste from his kitchen - A true closed system!
- Mini forest to shield his home from the street traffic pollution and noise and give him privacy from neighboring apartments!
How are the green innovations he's adopted helping?
- Saving foreign exchange
- Reducing his carbon footprint
- Contributing to lowering GHG emissions - with his home and 30 places he has set up and the green movement he is inspiring with footfall of over 2000 people visiting him to see his green home and talks locally, nationally and internationally.
- Reducing the demand for LPG subsidy
- Saving planet and preventing use of fossil fuels
- These initiative improve health.
- Contribute to solid waste management
- Reduce mosquito breeding sites through stopping flooding around his home and organic garbage in and around his home.
- Saves water - his well has water at 5 meters below ground
- His green cover improves air quality.
Bio gas plant - modified gobbar gas plant fed exclusively by kitchen waste for the urban setting.
Harvesting rainwater for 2 decades long before it became compulsory. Inspired by practices in his days in Gujarat where large vessels were placed in courtyards and terrace to collect rainwater.
Mr. D. Suresh's vibrant terrace vegetable garden nourished by the biogas plant slurry!
The entire Suresh clan set a high bar. His wife Dr. Jayashri Suresh has helped set up many educational institutions and serves as advisor to others and is now helping set up an innovative and holistic PG Certificate in Education a teacher's training course for the DAV group of institutions - Guru Shikshanam.
More details can be sought via email: email@example.com
His son and daughter-in-law, Sujay and Innu both graduates of the prestigious ISB head a design start-up in Bangalore: Zwende.com with a store in Indira Nagar.