Husk Power Systems
Electricity from rice husk
GYANESH PANDEY, 34, is a native of Baithania village, west Champaran, Bihar. These days, he is concentrating on an old Indian problem — how to power its villages?
In 2007, while still an engineer in the power management semiconductor industry, he hit upon a rather low-tech idea: producing electricity from rice husk. Not only is rice husk a dependable, abundantly available bio-waste in villages, but it is also sustainable. On an average, each plant saves 42,000 litres of kerosene and 18,000 litres of diesel per year, apart from low emissions. Today, Gyanesh’s company, Husk Power Systems, lights 400 households in west Champaran with 80 power plants and has sequestered 50,000 tonnes of CO2. The ambition, backed by the likes of Shell Foundation and Acumen Fund, is to create 2,014 plants by the year 2014, sequestering 7.5 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide. With the cheapest capital cost in the world of $1 per watt, that ambition may be on solid ground.
Do u speak green?
DO U SPEAK Green? How about wearing it? Shishir Goenka, 46, has been a textile exporter for the past 19 years, a good part of which has also gone into nurturing his passion for wildlife. Last year, these two facets of his life met with Do U Speak Green? — an organic clothing webstore.
On the webstore, you will find beetroot and methi dyed clothing from organic cotton, waste fabric cuttings and bamboo fabric. Says Shishir, “When someone buys our products, they encourage the growth of organic cotton and make a monetary contribution to the conservation effort because 10 percent of all our sales go to organisations like the WWF, besides indirectly helping the farmers stay debt-free.” At an average cost of Rs 600 for a piece of clothing, it seems a reasonable premium to pay for a healthy conscience.