Captive Energy Plantation for Renewable Energyin the Sundarbans, West Bengal, India

A. K. Ghosh, Salil K. Das


Sundarbans in the eastern border of India and Bangladesh is the largest mangrove forest inthe world. Island villages of the area suffer from lack of electricity. A project was undertaken toprovide electricity to 30,000 inhabitants of five villages in an island from off-grid, stand alone, wood-based gasifier power plant. To achieve the objective, a GPS-based land use mapping was undertakento identify common property resource to raise energy plantation; after testing the soil, selectedenergy plant species were raised in nursery and transplanted to the identified sites with people?sparticipation. A working plan was drawn to ensure continuous supply of biomass using the sameland area. The cost per unit of electricity produced by the method showed to be most effective. Thesuccess of the project has led the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy, Government of India to adaptthe same methodology to supply electricity to the villagers of this largest delta in the region. Thepaper provides details of the project from conceptualization to implementation.

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