Government officials in the Indian state of Orissa have decided to bring electricity to more than 2,000 country villages by March 2012. Normally, reading something like that would be pretty scary. In this case, however, the news is inspiring!
Why? Because the government of Orissa will be using decentralized solar power to bring electricity to a region of India that has never seen electric lights – and they're ready to expand the grid, as needed, with more renewable and sustainable tech than you can shake
an unprocessed biomass fuel source a stick at. Find out more, after the jump.
The Indian government already has plans to supplement the proposed solar energy grid with biomass and wind power, and points out that there are currently almost 400 villages powered through a similar solar/bio/wind arrangement. India expects to electrify an additional 200+ villages by the end of 2010, building up to large-scale deployment of the solar tech through 2011 and 2012.
Reports about Orissa's supplemental plants include 118 MW from biomass plants, along with two 150 MW wind farms. Surveys for 22 more locations are reportedly underway.
As exciting as all this seems at first glance, keep in mind that India is (in many ways) a developing nation, and government projects can easily get held up. Still, this project – even as it is today – proves that fossil fuels are not a necessary step between “developing” and “developed.” Good on you, India!