The true cost of hydro power… is not money but time,” writes editor and author Prem Shankar Jha in his latest book, Dawn of the Solar Age. Environmentalists and human rights activists protest hydro projects across the country, and as Jha points out, wind, solar PV, and solar thermal power today provide viable alternatives.
Even so, in the forests of Kerala, where underground channels for mainframe grid lines are too expensive and too dangerous to lay given the high water table and dense foliage, it is hydro models that are paving the way for electrification.
While renewable energy organisations have always experimented with finding optimal alternate solutions from biogas to solar and thermal, the Energy Management Centre (EMC), Kerala, has enabled the first formerly unelectrified gram panchayat to sell energy for profit.
Since 2003, EMC has been investing in micro hydro projects. And it has achieved success by harnessing a readily available resource: water. Read More