International Energy Initiative,
Asian Regional Energy Initiative,
80-B Spencer Road, 2nd Cross, Fraser Town,
Bangalore 560 005,

+91 80 2555 3375

+91 80 2555 3375


  The Asian Regional Energy Initiative of the IEI

Value-addition to food crop processing: converting banana plant-waste to cooking fuel”

IEI-Asia has been propagating an energy-development model wherein sustainable access to improved energy services can be derived through integration with activities that enable income and employment generation.  In this demonstration that is currently in progress, it is intended that the waste of locally established banana plantations will be used to create improved fuel.  Residues (stems from harvested plants and pseudo-stems) from the banana plantations are being chopped and fed to anaerobic digesters.  The biogas so generated will be supplied to the surrounding households as cooking fuel.  Hence, along with additional food production, food-crop-residues will be converted to a renewable source of cooking fuel, while the net revenue from banana cultivation will help recover the system costs.

The development phase of the establishment of this rural energy-enterprise has been completed.  Banana-plantations of tissue-cultured saplings have been developed on 6 acres in Ramanagara district of Karnataka state (south-west India). 

The earliest batches have begun yielding fruit.  Meanwhile, two 35m3 floating-drum biogas plants have been constructed.  These are being fuelled with banana plant waste for generating gas.  Details of the input are being recorded for the purpose of study and future replication.

This project is being funded mainly by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, through the 7th round of their Sustainable Energy Project Support (SEPS) programme. [SEPS].


“Powering a village sustainably: generating electricity from waste-based biogas”

Through this project, also in Ramanagara district of Karnataka state, we have been demonstrating another case of sustainable rural access to energy-services through a community enterprise that generates electricity from the waste of an integrated income-generation activity.

The energy-development enterprise comprises a dairy, a biogas plant that is fuelled with waste from this dairy, a 20kVA engine-generator fuelled completely by biogas (chiefly methane) from the linked plant, the extension of the electricity distribution system to un-electrified homes, and through these, daily electricity supply to the households and other consumers in the village.  The dairy provides employment and income.  Cattle dung serves as sustainable fuel-supply for biogas-generation.  The biogas-digester effluents are used as manure.

The provision of electricity through the biogas-fuelled system is continuing as intended.  Electricity supply enables lighting and the other electricity-enabled services in homes as well as community needs such as street-lighting and pumping water for domestic use, when the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) service is not available.  Electricity is usually supplied for an hour in the mornings for water pumping and for two-three hours in the evenings.