November 7, 2016: Harnessing Renewable Resources for Energy Production in Rural India


Location: FSC 1001

Date: Nov. 7, 2016

Time: 12-1


Abstract:  Agricultural residues are a potentially significant resource for energy production, particularly in rural areas of developing countries where energy access is problematic.  However, agricultural residues remain under-studied and their potential benefits and costs are less well understood in comparison with other renewable energy sources.   While residues are theoretically plentiful in these areas and biomass plants may have technical advantages over other renewable resources, harnessing such residues is also challenging due to logistical issues, lack of data, competing uses for residues and, often, an unsupportive institutional environment.  Other renewable resources (e.g. solar) present their own set of opportunities and challenges, such as intermittency and cost.  We present the mapping of agro residues for use in a power plant being implemented in rural part of India. This first of its kind plant in India couples two renewable sources for generating power. It uses rice husk as a fuel source to augment solar thermal power plant. During non-sunshine hours it runs purely on rice husk. This project aims in understanding the aspects of biomass usage, supply chain management and inventory handling.



Dr. Jai Asundi is the Research Coordinator at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, Bangalore, India. He is involved in projects related to Energy, Climate Policy, Sanitation and Security. His research interests lie in the areas of information technology for development. He is working on the development of decisions support systems for a variety of public policy problems. He is a senior member of the IEEE. Prior to CSTEP, Dr. Asundi was faculty in Information Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Thirumalai N.C. is a Research Scientist at the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, Bangalore, India. At CSTEP he has been involved in projects related to renewable energy and computational modelling of power generation systems. Prior to CSTEP he was associated with Dept. of Aerospace Engineering, IISc working in the field of experimental aerodynamics. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Mysore.