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MIT Researchers, Including Siebel Scholar George Chen, are Tackling Rural Electrification

ARTICLE BY: Kathryn M. O’Neill

MIT Energy Initiative

January 21st 2016

Going off grid: Tata researchers tackle rural electrification

More than 300 million people in India have no access to grid electricity, and the problem is especially acute in rural communities, which can be difficult and expensive to reach with grid power.

Siebel Scholar George Chen, (MIT CS '12) is part of a team of researchers at MIT that is exploring ways to extend electricity access to rural communities in India using microgrids.

At MIT’s Tata Center for Technology and Design, researchers are exploring ways to extend electricity access to such communities using microgrids — independent electricity generation and distribution systems that service one village or even just a few houses. In addition to being flexible in size, microgrids can run on whatever power sources are available, including wind, hydropower, and the source accessible at all sites: solar power.

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