Energy utilisation in rural industries in Karnataka
Ramachandra T.V.
Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 560 012.


  1. The wide variations in EI from 4.49 kg of fuelwood/kg of kernel to 8.66 kg of fuelwood / kg of kernel reveals the scope for energy conservation to be in the order of 30 to 48%.
  1. The relationship between SEC and Pr being a power law with an exponent less than one indicates an improvement of the SEC with increased production in a industry. ComputĀ­ation of the dynamic SEC (dEn/dPr) reveals that the rate of energy consumption is less than the production. The relative energy consumption rate decreases as the firm's production increases.
  1. The use of fuelwood for domestic and rural industries applications will continue in this region for at least another decade. This study and earlier studies in the domestic sector have revealed that the present usage is very inefficient in these sectors. About 40-45% of fuel wood is saved in domestic cooking and water heating purposes. This necessitates a wider use of energy efficient end use devices to conserve energy. This helps in meeting the growing demand of energy in a region.
  1. Fuelwood consumption in cashew processing industries could be brought down by: (a) use of solar water heating devices for roasting the raw nuts, and (b) the use of insulated, properly designed driers for drying the kernels.
  1. Encouraging enterpreneurs to grow energy plantations on already degraded and unused lands to meet the fuelwood requirement for the industry in a sustainable way (while setting up energy intensive rural industries), could help to improve the soil condition by avoiding further degradation and generate employment to rural youth.
  1. Decision makers should take into account the energy requirements of the industries while emphasising the industrialisation of a region. The decentralised way of meeting the energy requirements of industries, e.g. solar, wind (depending on availability of source), small hydro and energy plantations, would be the most appropriate way of handling the energy situation in a region.
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