Low-Tech Solutions For Rural India

Arun Jiwa @ 05-06-2008

Biogas generatorEver since I read Ian McDonald’s River of Gods, I’ve looked at India from a futuristic, economically oriented perspective to understand how the lives of millions of Indians are being changed by technology.  While the cosmopolitan metropolisis of Dehli and Bombay have undergone enormous growth in the last centry, the more interesting changes have happenned among the rural populations.  Now, with natural gas prices at an all time high, India is turning to Nature, and the sacred cow for a wholly low-tech solution to their problem. The biogas generator looks set to be the tipping point for cheap, renewable energy for India’s villages. [image by 1village]

Quite simply, a biogas generator is a system that utlizes the gas byproduct of the anaerobic digestion of organic materials for heat and/or flame. These generators, like the one featured in the picture above use manure and organic waste materials to produce methane, which is piped from a central tank via pipes, and can be used by an entire village.

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5 Responses to “Low-Tech Solutions For Rural India”

  1. Tom Marcinko says:

    Interesting post. I wonder what the greenhouse-gas implications are. I was lucky enough to travel to Bangalore earlier this year and was amazed at the air quality. You could carve your initials in the air. (Having said that, it was also one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been.)

  2. Paul Raven says:

    Never been to Bangalore, but you can eat the atmosphere in Mexico City with a spoon – but that’s one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been. Maybe there’s some correlation between interestingness and atmospheric pollution? We could be on to something here …

  3. Tom Marcinko says:

    Cities. That could be the connection we’re looking for…

  4. JustinP says:

    Maybe there’s some correlation between interestingness and atmospheric pollution?

    Or population density.

  5. Arun Jiwa says:

    It’s probably a blend of population density and cities. With re to GHG implications, I should look that up. It would be an interesting sister post to the biogas post. Right now the govt is pitching it as the most
    environmentally sound solution for India’s villages.