Transforming Waste: Rural Tamil Nadu Sustainable Power Solution

Transforming Waste: Rural Tamil Nadu Sustainable Power Solution

Volume 1 Edition 6

by admin on 30-11-2023


In the villages of Varadharajapuram and Kanjirangal in Tamil Nadu, an innovative initiative is converting biodegradable waste into a sustainable source of electricity, providing a solution to waste management challenges and fostering cleaner, more self-sufficient communities.

In Varadharajapuram, dairy farmer S Balakrishnan proudly states, "Cow dung powers the 140 streetlights in our village." With the village generating two tons of waste daily from 800 cattle, the installation of a biogas plant proved crucial. The plant not only harnessed the power of cow dung but also addressed the environmental and health hazards caused by waste on village streets.

Kanjirangal village similarly benefits from a biogas plant fueled by wet waste from eateries, markets, and households. The plant, with a 2-ton capacity, not only cleans the village but also powers streetlights and nearby facilities, demonstrating an effective waste-to-energy model.

The operational process involves collecting kitchen and food waste, transported to a digester by an e-car. In the absence of oxygen, the digester produces biogas, used as fuel for electricity generation. The success extends beyond illumination— the nutrient-rich slurry generated serves as free fertilizer distributed to local farmers, fostering a sustainable agricultural cycle.

In Varadharajapuram, the monthly operational cost of nearly Rs 50,000 has resulted in substantial savings in the panchayats electricity bill, exceeding Rs 40,000. In Kanjirangal, a Rs 66 lakh plant, funded by the National Rurban Mission, showcases the viability of such projects on a larger scale.

The impact extends beyond immediate villages, contributing to reduced landfill waste and preventing more than 4,000 m3 of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from entering the atmosphere. These initiatives exemplify the potential of sustainable waste management in rural settings, providing a blueprint for cleaner, greener, and more self-sufficient communities.

Content and Image source : Earth Journalism Network