DESI Power Foundation

Araria, Bihar, India


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DESI Power Foundation is a not-for-profit Trust formed in 2007 to support the sustainable village development activities of Employment and Power Pa...
DESI Power was set up as a “no-profit-to shareholders” company to demonstrate a model of renewable energy-driven sustainable rural development for removing poverty and reducing CO2 emissions and the risk of climate change. 15 years were spent in adapting and modifying renewable energy technologies (e.g., biomass gasification) for reliable and economic operation under village conditions with O&M and management by local people. The first DESI Power Plant (1996) supplied power to a handmade paper factory run mostly by women for over 75’000 h. Perhaps the first Micro Grid in a village in India was set up by DESI Power in 2006 and the first biomass-PV hybrid power station in 2016. We have built over 65 technical and commercial pilot plants, 45 of which are now running in 20 villages. 
As is well known, even after 70 years the conventional policy of “Rural Electrification” set-up as a part of “Centralised Power System” based mostly on coal has not brought the desired results for villagers. The urgency of reducing CO2 emissions combined with the long-overdue reduction of rural poverty demands a re-think of policies and the introduction of a “Decentralised Electricity and Energy Services” Sector. 


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Electricity/Energy Services Training/Capacity Building Hygiene Centre/
Activities of DESI Power and DESI Power Foundation: DESI Power o Renewable Energy based Mono and Hybrid Power Plants o Micro-Grids for power supply for households, shops and other businesses, farmers and productive enterprises. o Tiny grids for small farmers and outlaying households. o Drinking and irrigation water and clean cooking energy. o Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Operation and Maintenance [EPCOM] services o Consultancy and know-how transfer to partners and other rural developers.
DESI Power Foundation
• DESI MANTRA Training Centre, Araria. o Villager-oriented/program-linked training courses: (class room, field and on-the-job). o Technical training for engineers for design, O&M and testing of biomass and PV power plants, hybrid generation, distribution systems, biomass management, pumping systems, water purification systems, pelletising systems, and biogas plants. o Technical training for technicians for operation and maintenance, logbooks and reporting, trouble-shooting and customer service, in general for all types of DP plants and specialist training for specific equipment. o General courses (e.g., computers, report writing, site surveying, accounting). o Refresher Courses. o Proposed: Training Simulators.
DPF Pilot Projects.
o Kisanon ki Bari (Farmers’ Garden): a landowner – small farmer partnership model. Pilot project on about 7 acres for higher income from organic farming and energy plantations. o Gram Safai Centre (Village Hygiene Centre): latrines and washrooms, biogas and organic fertiliser. o Energy Efficient Stoves for clean cooking. o Tiny Grids for drinking and irrigation water and outlaying households.
Partners of DESI Power and DESI Power Foundation.

• Dasag Energy Engineering Ltd., Seuzach, Switzerland: Grant. Technology, design, management and project support.

• The Government of Netherlands: Grant for setting up of the Pilot phase of 7 biomass gasification based decentralised power plants

• BOVS, a villagers cooperative for job creation in Baharbari.

• The Shell Foundation; Grant for development of micro-enterprises in the villages

• The World Bank: Award – The Development Marketplace.
• The Tech Museum San Jose: Award,

• Educational Institutions (IISc, Bangalore, MVIT College, Bangalore; VIT College, Vellore; RV College, Bangalore; PSG College, Coimbatore.)

• Industries: (G.B. Engineering and G.B. Foods, Trichy) and A Hospital in Calcutta (DPR preparation for a 1.5 MW Biomass based CHP plant).

• ICPCI: Grant for the installation of a RET-based Micro-Grid in Baharbari village (probably the first in India).

• Rockefeller Foundation: Contract. DESI Power was actively involved in joint development with Rockefeller Foundation of the concept of SPEED Program and joined a consortium of partners for the implementation of projects in India with telecom towers as anchor loads.

• TATA Power: Contract for testing of mobile towers with supply of power from biomass power plant.

• Bihar Innovation Forum / JEEVIKA: Award. DESI Power was declared a winner in BIF-2 competition under Rural Energy Category to work closely with JeeVika (a Bihar Government Enterprises) to promote village projects in other parts of Bihar.

• EDI. Ahmadabad: Partnership. To work with EDI (Entrepreneur Development Institute), Ahmadabad under DST program to promote RE based power plants (mostly biomass and Solar) and MEs in North East States. EDI has received a contract from DST to promote 300 enterprises in NE states in 5 years.

• SKGS, Seuzach, Switzerland, a village society promoting and building PV power plants. Grant.

• REPIC; Switzerland, a Swiss government program: Contract. DESI Power is working with Dasag and REPIC and has piloted, installed and is running 40 units of Tiny Grids in various villages of Araria District.

• Fichtner India: CSR Grant. Investment for 10 Tiny Grids and design support.

• Solaspar, Switzerland: Grant for DESI MANTRA Training Centre.

• HDS Holding, Switzerland: Grant. For building and running a Village Hygiene Centre with latrines, a biogas plant and organic fertiliser production.