Many of India’s cities have become bustling centers for high technology and heavy industry, but hundreds of millions of people in the countryside remain off the grid. Growing up in rural Bihar State, Manoj Sinha knew what it was like to sit in the dark. So after earning an electrical engineering degree at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and working for the Intel Corporation, he began exploring ways to turn farm waste into electricity, with the dream of building village-scale generators. He and a fellow student, Charles Ransler, teamed up with another engineer from Bihar, Gyanesh Pandey, and Husk Power Systems was born. company now has a proprietary generator that runs on a methane-like gas released by heating rice husks a certain way. A waste product of rice milling, husks are plentiful in villages.  There are generators in five villages now, with the hope of expanding to 100 within a few years. Read more at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/education/edlife/ideas-huskpower-t.html?_r=1

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