In the universe there is an inexhaustible source of energy that asks only to be replenished...

Renewable Energy

Auroville has been a pioneer in the deployment of renewable energy technologies. In 1991 a stand-alone solar energy system of 36 kWp capacity was installed at the Matrimandir in Auroville. At that time, it was one of the biggest solar systems in India. Auroville has done extensive work all over India on solar pumping, mini wind generators and solar street lighting. 

One of the main renewable energy sources in Auroville is solar power. The city has several solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that generate electricity from the sun's rays. Auroville also has a number of wind turbines that generate electricity from the wind. In addition, the city has a biogas plant that converts organic waste into methane gas, which is used to generate electricity and heat.

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Energy in Auroville
Grid Energy
Solar Energy
Wind Energy
MWh of Electricity Consumption (2022)
MWh of Renewable Energy used in Auroville
MWh of Renewable Energy Produced Annually

Auroville's electricity demand is met by grid energy, rooftop solar, and wind energy (captive). Currently, Auroville has about 800 kW of grid-connected rooftop solar systems and 400 kW of off-grid solar deployed.

Auroville also owns 6 grid-connected wind turbines which have been installed near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu and in Karnataka. The 6 wind turbines together produce on average 8000 MWh of electricity annually. 

Renewable energy from one of these turbines, with a capacity of 800 kW, is wheeled to Auroville for its own consumption. The rest is sold to third parties and is used to pay for Auroville's needs.

In the calendar year 2022, Auroville’s electricity consumption stood at 6,145 MWh. With the combined renewable energy generation by the on-site solar PV systems and the off-site wind turbine under the wheeling mode, 41% of Auroville’s electricity demand in the year 2022 could be met by renewable energy. Efforts are put in place to eventually source 100% of electricity demand from renewable energy sources. 

Energy Vision for Auroville
  1. In Auroville energy will be consumed as a means to achieve a higher level of collective consciousness rather than for the fulfilment of personal desires and comforts.
  2. Auroville will be a township that consumes energy only from sustainable energy sources.
  3. To the extent that Auroville uses energy from non-sustainable sources for the building of the town, surplus sustainable energy shall be produced to compensate for such consumption.
  4. A change of consciousness and the transformation of matter are essential to achieve ultimate integral sustainability.
Auroville’s Growing Electricity Grid

Since 2014 Auroville has been developing its own underground electricity grid. Eventually all zones of Auroville will be connected to an Auroville owned and managed HT and LT underground electrical infrastructure. Solar energy exported by Auroville owned buildings that are connected to the Auroville grid is consumed by other buildings connected to the same grid. Export of surplus solar energy to the public electricity grid will be minimized and the majority of self-generated renewable energy is absorbed by local Auroville loads.

A next logical step is to scale up the distributed renewable energy generation capacity within Auroville and to add grid-balancing technologies such as electricity storage and demand side management. This will allow for an acceleration of the transition to a sustainable energy future with the distributed nature of the resources contributing to a greater resilience. 

Smart Min Grid Project 

The Auroville Smart Mini Grid project seeks to deploy and integrate renewables and energy storage technologies with the mini-grids and demonstrate scalable and financially viable examples of resilient, smart, and interconnected mini-grids to tackle issues of energy security, affordability, climate resilience, and mitigation. It is foreseen that this approach can be adopted by campuses, urban centres, and by electricity utilities at a wider scale and will serve as a case study to inform policymakers and urban decision-makers.

The Auroville Smart Mini Grid integrates state-of-the-art technology solutions, such as distributed generation, energy storage systems, active demand response, energy efficiency, smart metering, and advanced consumer information systems to establish a proof of concept that 100% renewable energy (mini) grids are possible and cost-efficient. The term “mini-grid” in this context refers to a sub-grid of the public electricity grid, which is connected to the public grid. It is foreseen that this approach can be adapted by cities, campuses, and industrial parks, but equally so by electricity utilities. Therefore, the Auroville Smart Grid Initiative will also serve as a case study to inform policymakers and urban decision-makers for consecutive replication and wide-scale adaptation. The Auroville Smart Mini Grid Initiative started in 2019.