International Renewable Energy Speaker at FSEC on Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 3 p.m.

An opportunity to learn about a unique international sustainability project.

Title of Presentation:
Urban Energy Services through Stand-Alone Renewable Energy Systems

Dr. Priyadarshini Karve

Generally in the developing countries, stand alone renewable energy systems are associated with electricity generation for rural areas. However, many such systems have failed due to a variety of reasons. An assessment of the failures indicates several reasons, such as lack of technical expertise for operating the systems, difficulties in servicing and maintenance, mismatch between energy services available and energy services required, social, economic, political constraints, etc. Most of these problems would be avoided if the stand alone systems were based in urban areas. Furthermore, no government subsidy or grant will be necessary, as even normal banks can provide finance due to the relatively better creditworthiness of the urban proponents. To some extent the successful introduction of systems, such as solar water heaters in urban areas, is already pointing in this direction.

A scheme based on kitchen waste to energy is proposed in this context, based on a combination of technologies developed by Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI). The business model is being refined at Samuchit Enviro Tech Pvt Ltd, and will be spun off as a new business venture in the name of Earthen Life.

A cluster of houses or an educational or business campus generates substantial quantity of kitchen waste. This can be converted into biogas, which can be used for any thermal application within the cluster itself. The effluent from the biogas plant will be used as liquid organic fertilizer for cultivation of organic vegetables within the cluster. The system will be operated by traditional waste pickers, thereby creating a modern livelihood opportunity for them.

The scheme, the technological details, and the economics will be described in the talk.

Monday, May 21, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.

Florida Solar Energy Center, Auditorium
1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922

About Dr. Priyadarshini Karve, Ph.D.:
Dr. Karve completed her Ph.D. in Physics from University of Pune, in 1998. During 1997-99, she conducted a research project for Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), under funding from Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The project resulted in development of an experimental prototype of an oven and retort type charring kiln for converting agricultural waste into charcoal. The technology went on to win ARTI the Ashden Award for Renewable Energy in 2002. From 1999 to 2005, Dr. Karve taught Applied Physics in different engineering colleges in Pune, while continuing her association with ARTI in an honorary capacity. In this period, she worked as the Secretary of the Organizing Committee of the International Conference on Improved Biomass Fuels and Cooking Devices (BFCS-2000), organized by ARTI at Pune in 2000. Also, from 2003 to 2010, she worked as Project Co-ordinator with ARTI, on a project entitled Commercialisation of Improved Biomass Fuels and Cooking Devices in India, and funded by various agencies over its duration. The project was fairly successful and resulted into the establishment of Samuchit Enviro-Tech (SET) Pvt. Ltd., to handle the business aspect of the scale-up project. Dr. Karve continues to be an active member of ARTI, and also works as Director of SET. The scope of SET now includes providing products and services for a variety of sustainable initiatives of households and business houses, in India and other developing countries. Dr. Karve is ARTI’s representative member in Nexus Carbon for Development, which is a Singapore-based alliance of NGOs and social enterprises engaged in bringing carbon finance money into pro-poor projects. For the period 2010 to 2013, she is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nexus. She is also involved in teaching courses based on sustainable development and climate change as visiting faculty in some of the educational institutes in and around Pune, India.

For More Information:
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