Necessity is the mother of all inventions. That saying has been proven right time and again, and it holds equally true for the story of Husk Power systems (HPS). Husk Power Systems was invented because of the ever growing need of electricity and the need of using resources that were readily available and could not be imagined as of any use before. The development started in the Darden School of Business, University of Virginia. The students there invented an apparatus that generated electricity using rice husks.
In 2007, the Husk Power Systems was established in Bihar, India with a dream of lighting up the villages of India’s poorest state, freeing them from darkness after 60 years of freedom. Gyanesh Pandey, the CEO at Husk Power Systems was an electrical engineer in USA. Having a change of heart in the end of 2006, he returned to his motherland with an idea of using his knowledge and experience to serve the poor. Here he met Ratnesh Yadav, who shared his vision of bringing the technology for the benefits of the poor and the society. Earlier, his ideas were to develop techniques to make biodiesel using Jatropha Seeds and develop and popularize the solar powered lights. Fate however had another plan for them and they met a Gasifier salesman. Here they got an idea for using the discarded waste product, the rice husk as an input. They focused their energies to develop a circuitry to optimize the Gasifier so that they could use the rice husk alone as an input. The early founding of the students of the University of Virginia inspired them in their quest.
The first plant was set up in August 2007 at the village of Tamkuha, Bihar. The equipment from Husk Power Systems, which essentially consists of a Gasifier, takes discarded rice husk as input which then outputs inflammable fuel that is then fed to an electricity generator. A gasifier, in its simplified form, consists of large container that traps gases and funnels them to where they can be pumped into tanks for storage. In a Gasifier, the discarded rice husk is heated so that the flammable hydrocarbon gases are released. These gases are filtered and are then used as fuel. That fuel is then used to generate electricity, which is supplied to all the local villages and towns via a local distribution network, while lights up the homes of villagers that have experienced the luxury of electricity before.
Husk Power Systems has been featured in a lot of popular magazines, including New York Times and Fast Company, as the fastest growing power grid company in recent times. Along the way, the Husk Power Systems has earned quite a few awards and accolades, including being one of the 12 finalists in the 2009 BBC world challenge for green technologies. They bagged the 2010 BD Biosciences Economic Development Award, and the 2009 DFJ and Cisco Global Business Plan Competition. Many of the Indian and international news channels, newspapers and magazines have acknowledged and promoted the concept and development of the Husk Power Systems.
As of early 2011, 60 mini-husk power systems light up more than 25,000 homes in more than 250 villages in the State. The total production today has replaced more than 18,000 liters of diesel per year and 42,000 liters of kerosene that was earlier used to light the conventional light sources. Husk power systems has also generated employment for the local residents of the villages, wherever it has set up the plants. One of the fastest growing energy company in India, has plans to advance the technology to more than 6,500 villages in the next few years. Not only does Husk Power Systems has a sound and profitable business development but it also nicely encapsulates the social aspect of uplifting the standard living of so many people living in small villages in India
We love this company for all that it has done to have a positive impact on the environment as well as the villagers!