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

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

We have recently completed this project that demonstrates a case of sustainable rural access to electricity-services through a community enterprise generating electricity from the waste of an integrated income-generation activity.

This energy-development enterprise has been established in Ramanagara district, Karnataka state (south-west India).  It comprises a dairy, a biogas plant with a 35 m3 floating-drum digester that is fuelled with the dairy waste, a 20kVA engine-generator fuelled completely by biogas from the linked plant, the extension of the electricity distribution system to un-electrified homes, and through these, electricity supply to the households and other consumers in the village.

The dairy provides employment as well as income from milk sales, with its waste being used as sustainable fuel-supply for biogas-generation.  The biogas-plant effluents are being used as manure.  Electricity generated through the biogas-fuelled system is supplied to all the homes in the village, including 10 hitherto un-connected to the grid, for lighting and for powering other devices, as well as for public uses such as the water-pump that caters to the village, the school, and places of worship. Electricity is usually supplied for an hour in the morning for water pumping and for about two hours in the evening, for lighting and the other electricity-enabled services, when supply from the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) is not available to the area. [Click here for photographs]

The project was financially supported by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, through the 6th round of their Sustainable Energy Project Support [SEPS].

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

This is another case of extending more efficient energy services based on a renewable fuel that is derived from the waste from a locally established income-generating activity.  Here, food-crop-residues will be converted to cooking fuel, financed by enhanced crop revenues.

Banana-plantations are being developed at four small subsistence-farms in Ramanagara district of Karnataka state.  Irrigation-facilities are being provided to enable their participation in the cultivation; these costs will be recovered over time through shares of the banana harvest.  Two anaerobic-digesters will be constructed adjacent to clusters of households who want to purchase biogas as cooking fuel.  Residues (pseudo-stems, leaves, etc.) from the new banana plantations as well as other existing growers will be processed for use as digester-input.  The biogas so generated will be supplied to the surrounding households.

After laying of the drip systems for micro-irrigation, tissue-cultured banana saplings were planted.  Plantation of 1,000 plants per acre took place in batches and the plants are therefore at different stages of growth. Digging of the pit for a biogas digester is also in progress.

This project has been selected for funding by the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, through the 7th round of their Sustainable Energy Project Support [SEPS]. .