Thursday, April 05, 2007

Renewable Energy Potential in Kerala

Kerala is one South Indian state that has not taken up renewable energy in a big way. While neighboring Tamil Nadu has a wind power generation capacity of 3000 MW, Kerala has nothing despite tremendous potential especially in the hilly regions.

G.M. Pillai, Director General of World Institute of Sustainable Energy (WISE), Pune, laments that a draft policy on wind power has been gathering dust in the state without implementation. The wind power potential in the state is estimated at 1000 MW, whereas the total power capacity in the state is currently 3000 MW. Moreover with a gestation period of just 3 months from start of construction to go-live, wind power is truly fast-track.

However despite the absence of state support, there seems to be some entrepreneurial success on the solar power front. Georgekutty Karianapally, an entrepreneur based in Kochi has developed some solar products that include a solar incubator and a solar milking machine. The solar incubator has interested the IIT to take up a project on it.

"He has also developed a 2 watt LED (light emitting diode) light that can replace a 15 watt bulb. The `zero watt bulbs' available at most of the outlets are 15 watt bulbs, according to him. About 8 lakh bulbs in this category are sold in the State every year, he says. If so, the power saved by replacing them with the LED lights would be equivalent to the power generated by a mini power generation plant, he observes." >Link