Off-Grid Prospects of Biofuel-based Rural Electrification in India

(E-pub Ahead of Print)

Author(s): Ravindra Verma*, Nand K Sah, Dinesh K. Sharma, Prakash S Bisen.

Journal Name: Current Alternative Energy

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Abstract:

Tapping non-conventional renewable energy resources for generation of electricity is the need of the hour, particularly in the developing countries. Renewable energy from photovoltaic, wind turbines and small hydroelectricity plants is eco-friendly and highly desirable for all countries. But, for the developing countries, such as, Sub-Sahara Africa where hardly 14.2% of rural electrification is available, these resources may prove a lifeline. Biofuels may be used as another safe resource for an off-grid electricity generation that covers about 60% of the requirement in Brazil. It may be a choice area for this purpose on small scales akin to the mini-grid system, particularly in the remote rural belts. It has been observed that Jatropha-derived fatty acid (de-esterified oil) is quite suitable for off-grid rural electrification in India. Bio-methanation of press cake (from Jatropha and other oilseeds) is another suitable material for harnessing off-grid electricity at a reduced level of environmental pollution. Several studies, Government reports, NGO projects and field studies show that the objective of rural electrification stands a bright prospect. It was found that there is a major gap in the available literature on the rural electrification through Jatropha cultivation. There is a lack of knowledge of how to make the best possible use of Jatropha for energy generation in India. This endeavor evaluates an Indian perspective of how biofuel-based off-grid electrification may brighten energy scenario, primarily in the rural habitats that comprise over 75% here. It has been also found that the costing of biodiesel is much cheaper than the petroleum-based diesel in near future.

Keywords: Biofuel, Jatropha curcas, Biogas, Rural Electrification

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(E-pub Ahead of Print)
DOI: 10.2174/2405463103666190211162544