Green energy: Lakshadweep to generate electricity from coconut leaves, stem, husk and shells

In what is likely a global first, inhabitants of 11 Lakshadweep islands have decided to stop using diesel and turn to coconuts for meeting their frugal power needs. An alternative energy expert has shown the residents how to generate sufficient electricity from coconut leaves, stem, husk and shells. With millions of coconut trees on the islands, supply will never be an issue and it will also help cut down on pollution in the archipelago. About 200-440 km off the south western coast of India, Lakshadweep – a Sanskrit name that means one hundred thousand islands – consists of 36 islands in all, 25 of which are uninhabited. The main source of power for the inhabitants of these fragile ecological coral islands for long has been diesel generators. “Diesel is costly and electricity produced from these generators costs around 28 per unit against conventional power cost of about 3-4 per unit. The power department of Lakshadweep offers 90% subsidy – about 25 on every unit of power sold – and spends 80 crore each year, which is a drain on the government,” SP Gon Choudhury, advisor to the Lakshadweep’s power department, told ET.

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