Rice Husks to Provide Reliable Village PowerHusk Power Systems, which delivers clean technology to Indian villages, won the Social Innovation Competition at the University of Texas and its $50,000 prize. India Abroad reported that the entrepreneurial team of Manoj Sinha and Charles 'Chip' Ransler, from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business, were judged to have the most compelling new idea to change the world.
The prize is awarded by The University of Texas's RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.
Husk Power Systems has created proprietary technology that cost-effectively converts rice husks into electricity. It has developed and installed 35-100kW "mini power plants" in villages of 200-500 households within the Indian "Rice Belt" and offers electricity as a pay-for-use service. HPS has successfully implemented its service in two villages in Bihar, India and will expand its footprint by 20 villages in 2008, 100 in 2009, and 2500 by 2013. The company plans to offset close to 200 tons of carbon emissions per village, per year in India. The sale of these carbon credits makes the project financially feasible.