Indian Firms Bagged “Green Oscars”

Posted on June 18, 2011 by

On 16 July, two Indian firms bagged the prestigious Ashden Awards for sustainable energy. The awards, which, in the past, have been addressed by many key personalities including HRH Prince Charles, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Wangari, Sir David Attenborough, former US Vice President Al Gore and Lord May of Oxford, and often considered to be the Green Oscars, were given at the Royal Geographical Society in London.

The two Indian firms; Abellon Clean Energy, Gujarat and Husk Power Systems, Bihar, each won an award for innovation in the area of energy-technology and social outreach.

Abellon Clean Energy devised a system of converting agricultural waste into pellets which can be used as fuel. Sarah Butler-Sloss, the founder director of the Ashden Awards said that this system relies on clean sources of energy to reduce CO2 and that by replacing dirty industrial fuels, it will drive economic growth, improve crop yield and support local farmers.

Abellon’s current production is 65,000 tonnes of pellets a year and it aims to produce more plants in Gujarat in the next five years, trebling its production and expanding its operations to international markets.

Husk Power Systems has built power plants that are fired by gasified rice husks. Currently they have 65 such power plants with embedded local grids reaching out to about 180,000 people. Husk Power Systems hire people to run their operations so not only have they created a clean and cheap alternative energy source but they have also generated jobs for the local people.

The company plans to expand its work to other villages in India, with a set target of about 2000 plants by 2014 and then later it plans to go abroad.

Apart from winning the awards, the two firms also won 20,000 pounds each.

Other winners of the Awards include Ghana’s Toyota Energy Ltd which won the top prize of 40,000 pounds Gold Award for its energy saving stove and Pakistan’s Aga Khan Planning and Building Services which was awarded for helping mountain villages save energy and make their home warmer through a range of locally-produced devices.

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