|Renewable Energy Options for Decentralized Electricity Generation - Encology - Vol. 11, No. 2, July 1996 (Centre for Ecological Sciences, INDIA, 1996, 6 p.)|
|Decentralized Electricity Generation Options|
It is ideally suited to decentralized generation of power for use by disposed rural communities and lends itself to operation and management by the user groups. It is quite, does not pollute the atmosphere or contribute to the green house effect and operates with effectively zero fuel costs.
Micro hydel power systems have potential in some locations with perennial water flow. Some such locations have been identified in several states. Soundaranayagam (1991) has given a cost figure of Rs. 37,000/kW of installed capacity for a prototype demonstration unit of 15 kW capacity.
Small hydro does have its problems, largely associated with non uniform availability of water over a yearly period in small rivers and streams and in the utilisation pattern of small rural communities. An ideal solution to go in for peaking power plants with minimum storage which utilise rainwater during monsoon and can be supplemented by biomass based thermal power plants. Some of the problems, of micro hydel plants are
(a) cost/kW is still high
(b) very few perennial water sources
(c) technical and operational feasibility in the field is yet to be demonstrated.