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Indian Innovations for the Energy Challenge

After reading Atanu Dey on India’s Energy Challenge and Vijay Anand on Why the N-Deal is important, I was wondering if there were some interesting things being done in India regarding energy. And sure enough, I came across these:

  • Water
    • Balakrishna has created a turbine to generate power from slow moving water, and he has even used sewage water at Medahalli near Yellamallappan lake (near Bangalore) to experiment. On a side note, Balakrishna’s family previously were bonded labourers.
  • Wind
    • SasiNarayan has patented a winged vertical axis wind mill that can be put on the roof top of your house.
vertical axis wind mill

  – Syed Zahed has created a “Solar Home Energy Pack” that combines a MAGH-I woodgas stove, solar lamps and torch lights with rechargeable batteries and a solar panel. It costs just five thousand rupees. The “Good Stove”, as they call it, is declared as open source technology / Creative Commons. And it’s being used in the Himalayas.

Solar Home Energy Pack

  – Harish Hande, an IIT Kharagpur graduate, is on a mission of rural electrification using solar home systems.
  – On a different note, there is encouragement through the Solar Innovation Program and the Cleantech Ventures Program
  – Energy Conservation Mission, Hyderabad has developed a pedal/solar model that can charge mobiles, PDA, laptops, a fan and colour TV. That’s right, you can pedal to become fitter and generate energy at the same time, and it costs just 5000 rupees! Read the poster for details.
  – Just a small note that the Rural Business Hubs initiative in India (a partnership between Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Confederation of Indian Industry and the Panchayat) is encouraging jatropa cultivation and other methods of generating bio-diesel.
  – BIOTECH is turning food waste and other organic waste into bio-gas which can be used for cooking and even produce electricity.
  – SKG Sangha is creating biogas for cooking plus fertiliser from slurry using the ‘Deenbandu’ cow dung based biogas plant. As a woman from Mallipatna says: “We have many benefits from biogas. With wood, our hands used to itch when we cleaned off the soot from the pots, our eyes had tears, our chests were painful and we coughed a lot. We had headaches and we had sight problems. With biogas, all these problems are gone.”

There are even people like S S Sivakumar who convert air to water, because “he was convinced that water, or the absence of it, held the key. Water plays a dominant role in Indian politics and economics. Agriculture, which accounts for 18% of the country’s gross domestic product and which is the livelihood of 60% of the population, depends on the monsoon and most states have long-running disputes with their neighbours over the sharing of river waters”!

Credits: Most of this information is gleaned from Dr. A S Rao’s excellent blog on Indian innovators.