Two Indian enterprises have won top prizes at this year’s prestigious Ashden Awards for sustainable energy, popularly known as the ‘Green Oscars’.
A Kerala-based company BIOTECH, involved in tackling the problem of dumped food waste, won the Ashden award carrying a monetary prize of 30,000 pounds while a Karnataka firm SELCO Solar Light Private Limited bagged the new Ashden Outstanding Achievement Award. Besides, SKG Sangha, a non-profit organisation based in Karnataka (supplies rural families with both dung based biogas plants for cooking and a
specially designed unit that turns the slurry from the biogas plant
into high quality fertiliser),received the second prize of 10,000 pounds.
BIOTECH was selected for tackling the problem of dumping of food waste in the streets of Kerala through installation of biogas plants that use the waste to produce gas for cooking and, in some cases, electricity for lighting.
To date BIOTECH has built and installed an impressive 12,000 domestic plants, 160 of which also use human waste from latrines(toilets) to avoid contamination of ground water, 220 institutional plants and 17 municipal plants that use waste from markets to power generations.
SELCO Solar Light Private limited had won the Ashden Award in 2005 and this year it won the new Ashden Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of the remarkable progress it made during the last two years.
H Harish Hande, Managing Director of SELCO said since 2005, his company had increased total sales of solar systems from 48,000 to 71,000 despite nearly a 50 per cent increase in the price of small photo-voltaic modules on the world market.
“We have 25 service centres but we have a long way to go,” he said adding that if Government and financial institutions allocated enough funds for the programme it would help spread Solar Service for low-income households a great deal.