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Energizing Sustainable Development

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Practicing Sustainability

Abstract

In the foothills of the Himalayas, there is a region with a large number of springs, some of which are perennial. For hundreds of years, people have been using the running water to turn small mills used for dehusking and grinding wheat. One organization, Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), realized that there is not only a significant scope for efficiency improvement of the mill itself, but that restricting its use to grinding wheat alone was actually limiting its use for a few hours in a day while the stream was flowing all the time. HESCO carried out a technology up-gradation exercise wherein ball bearings were introduced, the wooden paddles were replaced with metal paddles, and the mills were coupled to a generator so that when they are not used to grind wheat, they produced electricity for the village. For the first time, a village far away from the main national electricity network had access to electricity to light their homes, to power small machines, and a host of other uses. The cost for a 10-kW system was an unbelievable Rs. 50,000 (approximately US In the foothills of the Himalayas, there is a region with a large number of springs, some of which are perennial. For hundreds of years, people have been using the running water to turn small mills used for dehusking and grinding wheat. One organization, Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organization (HESCO), realized that there is not only a significant scope for efficiency improvement of the mill itself, but that restricting its use to grinding wheat alone was actually limiting its use for a few hours in a day while the stream was flowing all the time. HESCO carried out a technology up-gradation exercise wherein ball bearings were introduced, the wooden paddles were replaced with metal paddles, and the mills were coupled to a generator so that when they are not used to grind wheat, they produced electricity for the village. For the first time, a village far away from the main national electricity network had access to electricity to light their homes, to power small machines, and a host of other uses. The cost for a 10-kW system was an unbelievable Rs. 50,000 (approximately US $1,000). Over a period of time, HESCO was able to bring into their fold several thousand watermills for up-gradation.,000). Over a period of time, HESCO was able to bring into their fold several thousand watermills for up-gradation.

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Ramamurthy, V.S., Pani, N. (2013). Energizing Sustainable Development. In: Madhavan, G., Oakley, B., Green, D., Koon, D., Low, P. (eds) Practicing Sustainability. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-4349-0_29

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