In Bihar, electricity is produced from rice husk!

By Sanchit on Sunday, July 11, 2010

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electricity from Rice huskMumbai: Many villages in Bihar has literally lifted out of darkness with an uninterrupted, self-sufficient power supply, thanks to Gyanesh Pandey, the promoter of Husk Power Systems that transforms piles of discarded rice husk to light up the villages, reports Manu A B from Rediff Business. Now, around 50,000 villagers in 120 villages across Bihar and 3 villages in Uttar Pradesh have been benefited by these 'green' power plants.

After resigning his job in U.S., Gyanesh returned to his native home state in 2007 and he teamed up with his friends Ratnesh Yadav, Manoj Sinha and Charles W Ransler to set up Husk Power Systems. Their idea was to provide power to villagers who depended on agriculture as their main occupation in a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly manner. After research and experiments, the team decided that the most feasible way would be making electricity from rice husk. Today HPS owns and operates 40 mini-power plants (35-100 kw) across Bihar. Through this unique green technology, villages get uninterrupted power for up to 6-12 hours by setting up a plant, which burns rice husk to generate gas to run generators.

For villagers, this cheap and eco-friendly model of generating electricity is a miracle that has transformed their lives. "After 60 years of independence, we got the real azadi (freedom) now," Rambalak Yadav, an excited school teacher from Tamkuha, said.

"Becoming an entrepreneur was an evolutionary process. I had a good life in America. I did not face any problems there, but I always had the feeling that I must do something for our villages. I do not feel I have made any sacrifice. Today, there is hardly anything I do other than work. It gives me the satisfaction no job can ever give," says Gyanesh, who feels India's acute power crisis must be solved efficiently with renewable resources.

The company is set to make profits by the end of this year and plans to light up villages in other states like Maharastra, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Providing electricity to villages across India is just the beginning of Gyanesh's ambitious plan to transform rural India. The company has already taken up the initiative to educate 200 children from Tumkuha.