India Is Finally Seeing the Light

A crazy power source—rice husks—is providing power for Indians in the dark

Indian entrepreneurs have discovered the secret to cheap light for the poorest regions of India: rice husks. David Bornstein writes in The New York Time's Opinionator column that 68 million people in India's poorest state Bihar are without electricity because they are off the grid.

This is why I’m writing today about a small but fast-growing off-grid electricity company based in Bihar called Husk Power Systems. It has created a system to turn rice husks into electricity that is reliable, eco-friendly and affordable for families that can spend only $2 a month for power. The company has 65 power units that serve a total of 30,000 households and is currently installing new systems at the rate of two to three per week.


What's also great about this story is that the founders started the business on prize money that they won in student competitions while pursuing their MBA. Fingers crossed that Husk Power's solutions can first trickle down to the 25,000 villages identified in their business plan and then trickle up to communities and individuals all over the world looking for alternatives solutions to power.

Check out GOOD's previous coverage of Husk Power Systems.