Saran Renewable Energy, India
Business finds green solution to black-outs
A reliable power supply is critical for any business anywhere in the world. But in the Indian state of Bihar power is not reliable. Blackouts are frequent and debilitating for local businesses and farmers, often lasting for days at a time. Expensive and polluting diesel generators are often the only answer.
Local energy company Saran Renewable Energy’s response has been to build a generating plant run on gasified biomass. The biomass comes from ‘dhaincha’, a local woody plant which can be easily and profitably grown by local farmers. The generator connects to transmission lines to supply small businesses with electricity for a guaranteed 11 hours a day.
And that reliability is key. Users pay a little more for their electricity than they do from the mains supply (though much less than they would for diesel). However, the loss of income from no power would be much higher. And a reliable power supply means no need to use polluting generators. 206 tonnes/year CO2 are saved by the plant with diesel use almost totally eliminated.
The potential for replication is huge. Bihar and other states cannot attract investment without a reliable source of power. Saran’s scheme has huge potential and has attracted a lot of interest. It certainly requires capital expenditure which takes several years to recoup. But the longer-term benefits are there for all to see.