Saturday, 17 March 2007

Bio-fuels to light up cities

By Syed Akbar
Municipal waste could be utilised to generate power to light up small
cities with half a million population.
Power from municipal wastes and other waste bio-products, if utilised
properly, will solve the problem of power shortage and save a lot for small municipalities in terms of electricity bills.
Hyderabad-based Administrative Staff College of India advisor Dr P
Radhakrishna says bio-fuels programme like that of bio-diesel should be centred around decentralised power generation to meet the energy requirements of the local community for agricultural operations. It could also be used to light up
cities, particularly for streetlights.
He also suggests village-based small power plants to over come shortage of
power. "This will not only solve the power problem but also solve the problem of disposal of municipal and bio-wastes. Our cities, towns and villages will be clean and get power from clean sources. There will be no pollution," he points
out.
Dr Radhakrishna is of the view that a technical task force should be
formed for orderly and time-bound promotion of vegetable oils as a source of energy for decentralised applications and a nationally-acceptable and well-coordinated production programme for bio-fuels.
The concept of bio-fuels was first designed in the country five years ago
and yet it is in a nascent stage, requiring governmental and public support to push India into a health power generation regime. Brazil and the USA as also China have taken a lead in this area and India is still at the planning stage. There's a
tremendous potential for bio-fuel energy in the county.
According to Dr Radhakrishna, bio-fuels have many advantages over conventional fuels. The bio-fuels can be produced locally and it creates a large employment potential even at the village level. They have a lower impact on environment.

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