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Rural village electrification success story near Pune using green indigenous technology

As Panchabuta has earlier mentioned, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is looking at the possibility of generating 10,000 MW of power in the next 10 years from surplus biomass.

MNRE was exploring the possibility of generating 10,000 MW of power in the next 10 years from surplus biomass, both agro and forest residues, he said. In addition, small megawatt biomass power plants could be set up for feeding power at the tail end of the grid (11 KV line). These plants would ensure power to many villages.

The Remote Village Electrification (RVE) program under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was a program introduced in the year 2009-10. The objective of the Programme is electrification through renewable energy sources of those unelectrified remote census villages and remote unelectrified hamlets of electrified census villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective.

As Panchabuta has reported earlier, Husk Power Systems (HPS), uses the husk-based gasifier technology to provide electricity using 32 kWe (40 kVA) plants that deliver power on a “pay-for-use’’ basis to households in the rice-producing belt of India at about Rs 2 per day per household, located within a radius of 1.5 km. The charges are such it results in a reduction in the consumption of kerosene by as much as two-thirds. Power is supplied from 5 pm till midnight each day.

In yet another success story, for the 50-odd residents of Padarwadi, a small village about 100 km from Pune, got electricity generated from locally available Pongamia seeds. The initiative to electrify the area was undertaken by Pune-based Cummins India Limited that collaborated with the Cummins Engine Research Facility (CERF) at the IIT Bombay and the Renewable Energy and Agricultural Development (READ) Foundation, an NGO, for developing a sustainable and replicable electrification model for remote villages across India.

The primary objective of the programme was to develop and establish a distributed generation model for rural electrification that was economically sustainable, scalable and used the ‘right technology’ for electricity generation utilising locally available renewable energy sources.

In a bid to achieve this goal, a generator set that operates successfully on indigenously developed Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) technology was designed and tested at CERF.

With funding from Cummins India Foundation, the generator set was commissioned on Saturday, making the village self-sufficient with locally produced fuel for generating power.

Beau Lintereur, vice-president, Cummins Power Generation, said, “We are delighted with the success of the project and the prospects it presents for the people of Padarwadi. It is the joint efforts of our employees, representatives of Maharashtra Arogya Mandal and most importantly the resilience of the villagers that has resulted in this solution for producing power within the village, which is green, sustainable and scalable.”

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