Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Power from rice husk - a 3-in-1 idea

Generating electricity from rice husk, besides being eco-friendly, can be a viable business model with three streams of income - 1) sale of electricity generated from a rice-mill by-product; 2) sale of husk ash to cement units; and 3) carbon credit accrued by way of reduction in carbon emissions in electricity generation.

Husk power system (HPS) drives mini-power plants, each capable of generating electricity to meet the requirement of 300 to 500 households for 8 to 10 hours a day. Five pilots plants, powering 12,000 households, are up and running in Bihar's paddy belt. They are working to get from the government Clean Development Mechanism certification to enable them to sell carbon credit.

The idea is credited to two students in the US. They are not power engineers, but have an engineering mind to transform a socially benefitial concept into a working model. Manoj Sinha, whose idea it was to empower people in his Bihar village, was a microprocessor designer with Intel; Charles Ransler, project strategist, has been into software development pertaining to digital publishing. What brought them together was their social activism. Manoj produced the idea; Charles came up with a business model.

They were joined by Gyanesh Pandey (left),so taken up with the proposal that he gave up a promising career abroad to come to Bihar to run their pilot project. Ratnesh Yadav completes the team. He is locally influential. Ratnesh is described in the company website as 'politician/entrepreneur, who promotes business enterprises in Bihar'.

HPS promoters conduct an energy audit and, before taking up a project, discuss with the village panchayat aspects such as power delivery system, payment mode (pre-paid), and training of local residents for consumer service and maintenance of the power plant.

Photos credited to : Development Through Enterprise and HPS website

1 comment:

Swarna said...

That is forward-looking, and the way to future energy needs - thinking small, thinking local, and solve community needs with local resources. I wonder if urban residential complexes can also be such a 'community' - but the wants of urbanites far outnumber their (energy) needs?