DESI Power is a collaboration between DASAG, India and TARA (Technology for Action and Rural Advancement) which offers at a turnkey system to supply electricity and energy services using renewable sources of energy.  DESI, is a company which promotes decentralised Independent Rural Power Producers. It sets up independent Rural Power Producers (IRPPS) at the unit level, as joint ventures with local communities and private entrepreneurs. Its management and approach is similar to that of private sector power producers in the centralised sector.

DESI Power promotes packages, builds, operates and later transfers the plants to local ownership.  Although the objectives of DESI Power have their origins in social, environmental and sustainable development concerns, its operations and financial structures are designed to be commercially viable so as to ensure scalability and long term viability.  DESI power plants are based on the gasification of locally available biomass which is available on regular basis. 

The electricity generation process involves the following major steps:


Biomass collection

Cutting and drying

Gas formation and scrubbing

Power production

Advantages of DESI power plants

Resource efficient
Conserve non-renewable energy resources (diesel) to the tune of more than 75%; new plants will offer 100% replacement of diesel.
Environment Friendly
Utilizes waste biomass to produce valuable electricity
Considerably lower emissions and less pollution if compared to coal fired power plants 
Consistent in supply
Highly reliable source of electricity when compared to grid supply
Extremely useful for continuous industrial production processes which otherwise hampers the efficiency.
Cost efficient
Even at as low plant load factor as 40% and with high raw material cost, the cost of production per unit comes to Rs. 4.50 - Rs. 5.00, which is highly competitive with grid electricity price. The cost of generation is even lower with gas engines. 

Encourage livelihood creation
Promotes job creation – work within the power plant, in new local micro-enterprises and small scale industries, which consumes the power from the gasifier plant.
Promote sustainable development
Local value addition to local resources will accelerates the village/small town development process, reduce migration to large cities and hence strengthen the local economy. 

DESI Power is building or has built more than 12 gasifier based power plants of varied capacities ranging from 20 Kwe to 1.2 MW. These are running efficiently in various part of the country.  The two most determining factors for cost of production include: the cost of biomass fuel and the plant load factor achieved.  It is observed that even with Plant Load Factor (PLF) lower than 40%, with high biomass cost and lower than optimal diesel replacement, the cost of electricity remains competitive to the cost of electricity per unit from the grid supply. 



In a country like India, it has a varied market with a wide range of investors, which mainly include:


Large number of non-electrified and “theoretically electrified” villages (most of rural India)


Rural micro industries for local value addition

Agro processing
Building material (low cost housing)
Mechanical workshops
Cold storage

Domestic energy services

Cooking (energy efficient stoves)
- Farmer
Irrigation Water

Small scale industries

Development Status

Technical Data

Plant’s rated capacity 20 kWe  to 1.2 MW
Biomass requirement generated 1 kg per unit of electricity
Land requirement (space) 700 m2 (with 400 m2 of covered
No. of jobs produced 10 (for a 100 kWe plant)
Preferred biomass species Ipomia, casurina, wood chips rice husk  briquettes


Economic data

(Following information is as per 60 kW capacity plant)Equipment cost (gasifier, automation + internal electrical, Drier/cutter, T&D, tools, DG set, efficient treatment chemicals)



(Building for gasifier, biomass storage, sumps)Supervision, quality assurance, installation

Training and commissioning 50,000
Licensing & approvals 60,000
Working capital for 2 months (with biomass price as Rs. 800/MT) 1,61,000
Contingency   1,50,000
Project expenses 75,000
Insurance 15,000
Total     Rs  27,99,000  (US$ 55,980)

(These cost do not include cost of land, as it varies considerably from place to place)


Transfer form
Turnkey basis

For more information: www.desipower.com

Further Contact
Dr Arun Kumar / Mr Subroto Roy
Development Alternatives
B-32, TARA Crescent
Qutab Institutional Area
New Delhi – 110 016
Tel :  91+11+2696-7938, 2685-1158, Fax : 91+11+26866031

Email  : arunkumar@devalt.org,sroy@devalt.org

URL : www.devalt.org