Academics look to CHP to combat poverty in India

Business and engineering academics from the UK’s Aston University and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi are overseeing the construction of a CHP plant in a remote village in northern India.

The researchers hope it will provide a business and technological blueprint capable of addressing rural poverty across India.

Fuelled by crop wastes such as rice husks and prosopis wood, the 300 kW biomass-solar plant will provide heat, steam and electricity to downstream processing plants, which are also being built as part of the three-year project.

They include a rice mill, fruit and vegetable processing plants and a water distillation unit.

The combination of solar and biomass power will reduce fuel consumption while allowing round the clock operation.

The plant will allow regional farmers and their families to access a cheap, renewable and reliable energy source that in-turn can help remote villages to generate an income and escape from a cycle of poverty.

The research team wants to use this pioneering project to create a blueprint for CHP boilers powered by renewable energy, capable of being replicated throughout India.

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