For the many schools that provide meals for pupils across India the cost of LPG for cooking is a problem. For the country’s many farmers crop waste is just that, a waste product that often has to be burned to make way for new planting. For Nishant Bioenergy Consultancy, these are two issues that can be dealt with in tandem.
Their solution is the Sanjha Chulha (combined stove). Made of brick, it is designed specifically for institutional scale cooking. It is clean and efficient, but best of all it is fuelled by the crop waste produced by local farmers. This waste is sold by the farmers to local plants that compress it in to briquettes for fuel use. Estimates suggest that farmers’ annual income is 10% higher as a result of selling on the waste.
The benefits to the schools are as impressive. The stoves cost US$3000 each, but the saving on fuel (LPG) is US$350 a month. Nishant also arranges credit to enable the schools to invest in the plant and provides training and maintenance. By 2009 Nishant had sold 24 stoves serving thousands of pupils.
Nor are they resting on their laurels. The development of a smaller Earth Stove for roadside food stalls has been a major success with nearly 200 sold. With each stove saving 10 tonnes/year CO2 economic and environmental benefits go together. As Nishant always intended.