India’s solar vision makes Green Oscar cut

20-Mar-2015 #Ideas Source: India Inc

An Indian company that has popularised solar lamps around the globe and a group that promotes use of solar energy in business processes has been shortlisted for the annual Green Oscars this year.

The Ashden Awards 2015 hand-picked Greenlight Planet for pushing up the quality of solar lighting around the world with its durable and affordable ‘Sun King’ range of solar lamps.

The awards jury said: “Emanating a more powerful light and lasting longer than previous models, the lamps are also very versatile: you can put them on a stand, carry them around or hang them on the wall. Aside from having great products, the company also prides itself on its army of village agents, who help make sure the lamps reach the people who need them most.

“And having light after dark doesn’t just help people work, study and play – it also means they feel safer walking outside.”

Originating in Orissa, Greenlight Planet has expanded to sell more than 3 million lamps across 33 countries.

SunBest is another solar success story for its work with tea and spice makers to save money and reduce their carbon footprints by using solar energy in their production processes.

Typically, fresh tea and spices are dried using air that’s heated by burning large amounts of fossil fuels or wood. Tamil Nadu based SunBest sells solar heaters to large agricultural businesses that do the exactly the same job, but with much less damage to the environment.

Solar drying on a large scale is not yet widely used, but it’s a relatively cost-effective and straightforward process, with the large heaters easily accommodated on the roofs of processing factories. As such, there’s huge potential for this renewable technology to be used across the tea, spices and pulses industries.

The final nominee from India this year is Mahindra Lifespaces for its work in creating sustainable urban communities by developing attractive low-carbon homes in Mumbai and other urban areas in India.

Simple techniques like making sure the building faces the right direction and using insulation, efficient lighting and natural light, all help new home-owners save energy and cut carbon emissions, with the costs of energy-saving measures paid back within seven years through savings on fuel bills.

After selling more than 3,000 good-quality homes in the last three years, Mahindra Lifespaces is now turning its attention to social housing.

Now in their 15th year, the Ashden Awards celebrate pioneering businesses and organisations from around the world that are working towards tackling climate change and improving people’s lives. Over 20 organisations in India have won Ashden Awards since 2001.

This year’s winners will be announced in June.

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