Two Indian firms get Ashden Awards for sustainable energy

Dubbed as “Green Oscar”, awards comprise cash prize of £20,000 each

20th June 2011: At a ceremony held in London, two Indian firms have bagged the prestigious Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy.

Often dubbed as the “Green Oscar”, the awards comprise a cash prize of £20,000 each.

Chief of the Abellon CleanEnergy, Gujarat, Pankaj Patel, received the award for producing biomass pellets from crop waste to fuel Gujarat’s industries.

Gyanesh Pandey received the award on behalf of Husk Power Systems, Bihar. It has built 65 power plants across the state fired by gasified rice husks

Many of Gujarat’s industries rely on dirty, highly-polluting lignite for power. Abellon are fuelling Gujarat’s industries with biomass pellets made from crop residues that replace these fuels and give 8,500 local farmers a market for their waste product.

Abellon currently produces 65,000 tonnes of biomass pellets a year, avoiding around 110,000 tonnes of CO2. Abellon aims to open two more pellet plants in Gujarat in the next five years, trebling its production, and expanding operations into international markets.

Bihar is one of the most poorly-served states when it comes to electricity. Husk Power is connecting remote villages in Bihar to a clean, reliable electricity supply, which provides better light, harnesses a widespread waste product and costs less than alternatives.

Husk Power’s 65 plants gasify rice husks and other biomass waste to supply electricity to around 180,000 people and, by replacing kerosene, they cut greenhouse emissions by over 8,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. The company is growing rapidly, aiming for over 2,000 plants in operation by the end of 2014.

The Ashden Awards bring to light inspiring sustainable energy solutions in the UK and developing world and help ensure that they are spread more widely. From an entrepreneur rolling out solar power across rural India to a school adopting clean energy and green learning in England, the winners are passionate about bringing change to their communities and the planet.

Set up in 2001, it has helped more than 100 innovative projects develop their work. The Awards are an internationally recognised yardstick for excellence in the field of sustainable energy.

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