Rice Husks for Rural Electricity


Energy has become a primary need for rural communities in India and around the world. However, along with the cost of fossil fuels which continues to increase and the difficulty of access due to the remote location of many rural areas, rural communities often face difficulties in getting access to electrical energy. 

Product development and growth 

Market opportunities for the generation of clean electricity in poor rural India are estimated at US$ 2 billion. Mr. Sinha and his colleagues now use this figure as a benchmark for the growth of their business. They aim to develop their business to bring clean electricity to villagers in India and plan to build 2000 new micro rice husk power plants that will serve millions of customers by 2014. In order to expand their business and raise awareness of their activities, Mr. Sinha will attend a global investment forum, where he will deliver presentations on the Husk Power business model to a group of international investors. He hopes that the new investors will support the business growth. 

Lessons learned 

This project illustrates one possible future way to link the livelihoods of communities with environmental management. Since husk power has little negative environmental impact, the possibility of selling this power is quite interesting. This project will be interesting to follow up on as this sale takes shape. The project makes use of an existing policy framework that allows for the sale of power by small-scale producers to the community. It is believed that this is the first such project to take advantage of this, and therefore it is likely to encounter some challenges along the way. Learning from these challenges could help make this policy more widely usable for communities in other areas of the country. 

Sources: ILO – International Labour Organization