'MICRO HYDRO PLANTS CAN PROVIDE CHEAP POWER TO VILLAGERS'

Financial Times Information
April 28, 2005


Mangalore, April 27 - QUALITY electricity for villagers at affordable
rates may sound strange considering the present situation in the country.
But it is possible to provide reliable electricity to villagers using
their own resources, says Prof S.S. Murthy of Indian Institute of
Technology, New Delhi.

Delivering a lecture on 'Standalone micro/pico hydroelectric plants: A
technological milestone in renewable energy', organised by the Mangalore
chapter of Institution of Engineers on Tuesday, he said there is good
potential for establishing micro and pico hydroelectric plants in Western
Ghats and the Himalayas, and Jammu-Kashmir and north-eastern States.

Prof Murthy, who holds patents in micro hydroelectric applications, said
power would be available for villagers with their own resources at Rs 3 a
unit with an investment of Rs 1.41 lakh per kilowatt.

"Future of the country will be in decentralised power generation," he
said. In the case of centralised power generation, one unit of electricity
will cost around Rs 20 for a villager.

He said five such hydroelectric plants have been established in Western
Ghat region of Karnataka under a Department of Science and Technology
project.

While the Banjaru micro hydroelectric project in Dakshina Kannada district
is generating 8 kilowatt of power catering to the needs of 33 houses in
Banjaru village, a 5-kilowatt plant at Menasinahadya village in
Chikmagalur district is providing electricity to 20 houses. The 3-kilowatt
Asolli plant in Uttara Kannada district is supplying electricity to seven
houses and the 4-kilowatt Sirimane plant in Chikmagalur district to 12
houses. A single house in Jambardi village of Hassan district is getting
power from a 3-kilowatt plant, he said. A 10-kilowatt plant is enough to
supply electricity to a small village.

Stating that water resources of the Western Ghat region can be effectively
utilised in establishing many such projects, Prof Murthy said he is ready
to share his expertise on the subject with the interested entrepreneurs.

There is also a need to explore the export potential of this technology to
South America, Canada, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, he added.

 

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