Alstom Foundation launches a unique initiative to electrify rural India

Alstom in its effort to showcase its commitment towards social responsibility announced the launch of yet another groundbreaking project - ‘Dry Gasifier’ in India in collaboration with Husk Power Systems(HPS) –USA, one of the world’s lowest cost providers of biomass based renewable energy equipment.  Launched under the aegis of Alstom Foundation, the grant will be used for bridging funding gaps for two identified “critical success” factors/areas that will enable HPS to become truly scalable in rural electrification business.


A part of the grant from Alstom Foundation will be used in finalizing a Dry Gasification process for low-cost manufacturing and retro-fitting these dry gasifiers at the existing 65 power plant sites of HPS in Bihar. Another part of grant will be used for developing a semi-automated machine for volume production of incense sticks and deployment of such systems at existing power plant sites. Part of the funding will also go into providing vocational programmes and training for women for a consistent and high quality manufacturing.


The immediate environmental impact of a successful Dry Gasification System will result in dramatic reduction in water uses by over 80 % and will also result in reduction of operational expense. The cost benefit is then directly translated to customers who get electricity from HPS power plants. The project will also create employment opportunities thereby increasing the local economic activities fueled by renewable energy. This also enables HPS to scale faster and hence light more off-grid villages.


Commenting on the occasion, Sunand Sharma, Country President, Alstom India and South Asia, said, “At Alstom, commitment towards social responsibility is firmly rooted in our philosophy. I am glad that this unique project will not only benefit the rural population of India but also contribute significantly to the cause of India’s energy goals of attaining energy security, energy access & clean power. Alstom Foundation plays a key role in initiating projects that combine economic development, social progress and environmental protection. And thanks to such programmes we at Alstom are able to reach out to different communities and at the same time also fulfill our goals.”


In line with the Government of India’s drive towards rural electrification, the objective of this initiative is to meet the energy requirements of the rural population in India by bridging the funding gaps required for rural electrification business. Presently, a total of 125,000 Indian villages lack access to reliable power. The Indian government has designated 18,000 of these villages as economically impossible to reach via conventional means. Without electricity, these villagers lack basic education, and healthcare infrastructure required in modern life which impedes their economic and social development. Thus, through this endeavor, Alstom Foundation aims to mark a new kind of cooperation with companies addressing the issue of access to electricity for all.

Rural Electrification | News published on 22/05/2012 by Gisela Bühl

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