NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN), a wholly-owned subsidiary company of NTPC Limited, launched the ‘Green Charcoal Hackathon’ on Tuesday, December 2. The vision is to lookout for new technologies that can help create conducive and healthy environment by reducing carbon emissions. Green Charcoal Hackathon is a baby step in this direction. 

Ministry of Power

Shri R K Singh, Homourable Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy inaugurated the hackathon. The event was graced by Ashish Upadhyay, Additional Secretary of Power; Gurdeep Singh, CMD NTPC Limited; A K Gautam, Chairman NVVN and other senior officials from the Power Ministry, NTPC Limited, ESSL Limited etc. 

R K Singh said, “The Hackathon displays the spirit of innovation, which pervades NTPC. Any organisation has to have this spirit of innovation to grow and prosper or otherwise, it would fade away. I am sure that the NTPC management has told all young engineers that innovation and new ideas are encouraged.” 

He also added, “This (Hackathon) is also innovation in the pursuit of reducing our carbon footprint. From that point of view, all competitors in the Hackathon should keep in mind that the process of converting this (argo residue) to charcoal should not lead to emissions. Another key thing is the commercial model, which will depend on the cost of both the machine and charcoal production. I am sure we will come out with a machine while economical. I am happy to see the orientation of NTPC towards reducing carbon footprint.” 

Ashish Upadhyay, Additional Secretary of Power, on this occasion spoke, “The NTPC Group needs to focus on integrated and smart solutions to manage a carbon-neutral economy. I am confident that NTPC will be able to successfully implement and commercialise the technology that will benefit farmers, the environment as well as the society.” 

Gurdeep Singh, who is the CMD of the NTPC Limited spoke on the occasion. He remarked, “Power plants are the biggest consumers of coal. Typically a 1000 MW plant consumes about 5 million tonnes of coal annually. India’s total coal-based power generation capacity is about 2 lakh MW, which theoretically can consume approximately 1000 million tonnes of coal annually. Even 10% of that, if replaced with green charcoal will amount to 100 million tonnes of this fuel which will require approximately 160 million tonnes of agro residue and municipal waste (considering 60% yield), sufficient to wipe out the entire unused agro residue in the country thus eliminating the farm fires and produce approx. 20,000 MW of renewable power and generating a revenue worth 50,000 crore per year.” 

A correspondent of the Readers cafe found that NVVN has been looking for technological solutions. Converting agricultural waste into a form of energy that can be used in the power plants is the main factor behind organising the green hackathon. Furthermore, it has provision for cash prizes worth up to INR 24 lakhs to encourage the participants. 

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