The CII and Green Business Centre are working on hybrid off-grid energy solutions to empower the rural parts of the country while making telecom towers part of the solution.

"We have partnered with Rockefeller Foundation based in the US and completed several pilot projects in Bihar. The off-grid power solution seeks to use rice husk for power generation and this is then supplied to local people by charging them for supply," Jamshyd Godrej, Chairman of CII Godrej GBC and Chairman of Godrej & Boyce Co. said.

He told Business Line, "We have developed several workable models that can be replicated across the country. The off-grid solution is ideal for a large country like India where it is difficult to reach out to remote parts with a wireline network."

By making telecom towers central, it is possible to deploy hybrid solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. This will solve the problem of telecom towers which depend on diesel generation sets and also help local people, he explained.

He said these models can be replicated by local entrepreneurs taking such projects. Similar initiatives have also been taken up by the Aditya Birla group promoted Idea Cellular.

These business cases are compelling for various States to consider them and encourage such off-grid projects in remote locations. Even the mode of payment could be suitably tailored just like telecom companies offer pre-paid telecom services, he said.

Earlier, speaking at the CII Conference on Green Buildings, Godrej said that the Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme holds immense promise when it comes to heavy power consuming sectors such as cement and steel.

Referring to Green rating systems, he said ITC Bhadrachalam Paper Boards and Bangalore International Airport Ltd have opted for this and large organisations are evincing interest.

"A few countries have taken leadership in green buildings, India is one among such leaders," he said.

rishikumar.vundi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on October 30, 2012)
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