New Delhi: Two Indian companies specializing in alternative energy sources for rural electrification have won this year`s prestigious Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy in London.
The Husk Power Systems (HPS) of Bihar and the Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd of Gujarat received the awards Thursday night. The award contains prize money of 20,000 pounds.
HPS generates electricity through the gasification of rice husk. The company has been trying to boost its entrepreneurial capacity in collaboration with Britain-based Shell Foundation for about two years.
HPS has about 60 gasification plants that provide affordable electricity to over 25,000 Bihar households. Each connection costs Rs.100.
Abellon produces biomass pellets from crop waste to power Gujarat`s industries and gives farmers a market for their waste products.
"Winning the Ashden Awards is a big achievement for Husk Power Systems. We`ve adopted a new business model to expand effectively and efficiently, and this international recognition will certainly be a source of inspiration for everyone, who is and will be, involved," Gyanesh Pandey, CEO of HPS, said in a statement.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, founder director of the Ashden Awards and chair of the judging panel, said: "Abellon has devised a system that relies on a local, clean source of energy to reduce CO2 by replacing dirty industrial fuels, drive economic growth, improve crop yields and support farmers.
"This is a showcase example of how the use of local, clean energy can provide effective and commercially viable solutions to local challenges. We hope others can learn from this exciting and successful initiative."
Anuradha Bhavnani, regional director at Shell Foundation, said: "Over 125,000 villages in India are not connected with the electricity grid. Existing options like kerosene lanterns and diesel generators are expensive, difficult to disseminate in remote areas and negatively affect air quality, thus contributing to indoor air pollution."
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, a charity founded in 2001, encourage greater use of local sustainable energy to address climate change, alleviate poverty and improve quality of life.