By Solar Times Bureau.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has come up with a new plan of establishing more no. of ‘RiceHusk Power Plants’ for meeting up the electricity requirements of rural areas. The ministry is promoting rice husk based distributed / off grid electricity generation through biomass gasifier system, this will satisfy the needs of the rural areas in an eco-friendly and affordable way. The Whole country is facing energy crises, however the urban areas are managed to be facilitated with almost 24 hrs. electricity. But, rural areas are deprived by such facility, which is very necessary and is a basic requirement.
The ministry is supporting the establishment of plants, financially by providing Central Financial Assistance (CFA) at Rs.15000 per kW, besides this they are providing additional finance up of Rs.1 lakh per km for a maximum of 3 km, for laying distribution network in association with state governments, NGOs, village level organizations, institutions, private entrepreneurs etc. MNRE has previously also established and funded many rice husk power plant in many villages to avail them with the adequate amount of affordable energy.
Rice husk power plant was first set up in Bihar and it resulted successful in satisfying the need of electricity of the households at an affordable price. So far about 70 rice husk based gasifier systems of 32 kW each have been installed in rural areas of the country, mainly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, providing electricity needs of about 200 villages/hamlets so far. Each system is capable of providing electricity to more than 200-250 households and other establishments for 5-6 hours daily in the evening with an average load of 25-30 kW.
Rice is cultivated on large scale in many rural areas, husk which is the residue that remains from rice during the processing and huge quantity of biomass is remained in it, every year tones of rice husk was wasted, but later it was discovered that, this rice husk if used in efficient gasification and combustion system, has a considerable potential to generate energy. Since, the research was done on generating energy from rice husk, MNRE is providing support to build rice husk power plants in villages.