By Matthew McDermott, New York, NY
If you ever need a great example of technological leapfrogging in practice, here it is: In the Indian state of Orissa, the state government has decided to electrify approximately an additional 2,000 villages by March 2012. But rather than hook them up to coal-fired power plants, it will be using decentralized solar power. Biomass, wind power and a variety of small-scale hydropower projects are also in the mix.
Express Buzz reports that currently there are 395 villages powered through solar, with an additional 205 to be completed by the end of the year. Detailed reports to deploy solar to at the remaining villages are being drawn up.
Further renewable energy development in Orissa includes 118 MW of biomass plants, with 20 MW of that to be completed soon. Two wind power projects, 150 MW in size are in the works, with surveys for 22 more locations underway. Micro, mini and small-scale hydropower projects are also planned for deliver an additional 300 MW. …