Choudhury, a nationally renowned solar power expert, was invited by the Lakshadweep authorities to suggest ways to set up solar power generation systems on the islands for minimising pollution. "After studying the landscape of the cluster of islands, its
habitat and the ecological system, despite being a solar expert, I suggested setting up small bio-mass power generation systems on each island that will use coconut leaves, husk and the shells."
Assured, cheap fuel supply
Wind power has also been ruled out due to land constraints," Choudhury said.
He claims power from coconut is a global first. These trees being an intrinsic part of the island and available in such abundance, fuel for the power plants is assured and comes almost free of cost. "Energy content in the fuel is very high and it will
bring down cost of generation from 28 per unit to 11 per unit," he said.
Ravi Chandar, executive engineer at the Lakshadweep power department, says: "It will reduce emissions by 80-90% in comparison to diesel generators and outgo on account of subsidy will reduce from 80 crore per year to a meagre 8 crore every year."
The plan is to set up biomass units with a total installed capacity of about 10 mw that will meet the power demand of the population. "Investment for the project has been pegged at 80 crore. It will be set up on a built, operate and transfer basis. The
company that builds the units will run it for 10 years after which it will be transferred to the government," said Chandar.
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