A thread after my own heart!
I am really fascinated by biomass power generation because of the easy availability of biomass (waste wood / rice husk / corn cobs, stover & stalk / sugarcane leaves, bagasse etc.) across the country. I believe this holds a lot of promise for India.
The economics of this mode of RE power generation are as follows:
Capital cost = Rs 6 lakhs for a 10KW unit
Per unit cost of generation ~ Rs 1.3 to 1.4 per unit as against ~ Rs 5 /unit from the grid.
In fact I am currently looking into combining biomass power generation with microenterprise development (through an organization in the US that I am a founder member of) to make rural communities in India self-sufficient in power. The idea is to pick young enterpreneurs in these communities to set up their power generation plants and sell power to other members of these communities. The capital cost of the plant will be met through a loan at low interest. Let us see if the idea has legs.
Fortunately, one of the top experts in this field is a classmate from my college days who went on to get a Phd from MIT in this field. He runs a company that makes biomass gasification plants and so I will be getting sound technical advice.
For me, the biggest benefit from such distributed power generation schemes is that it provides power to corners of the country that the government could not care less about. Even more significant is that this will allow our village communities to develop internal capacity to create enterprises and keep the people from flocking to our already overcrowded cities with crumbling infrastructure. And finally, rural India will be much closer to a carbon-neutral and environmentally-healthy existence.
Ultimately, I want to live in a way that I am completely independent of the government for power, water etc. while leaving the least footprint on this earth, so in a way I am doing this for myself.