London, June 9 (ANI): Two Indian and one Pakistan firms are the finalists from the Asian region for the world's leading green energy prize-The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2011.
In all, eight sustainable energy pioneers were announced from the African continent, India and Pakistan have been selected as finalists for the prestigious Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy 2011. The finalists will compete for over 120,000-pound prize money. The winners will be announced at a ceremony hosted in London on June 16, 2011.
Access to affordable clean energy is fundamental to daily life and should be a basic right yet almost a quarter of the world's population - over 1.4 billion people - live without access to electricity, and worldwide around 2.5 billion people still rely on wood and charcoal for cooking. Harnessing clean, local and affordable ways to meet the energy needs of the poor and to drive local industry is vital to any efforts to reduce poverty and to tackle the urgent issues of climate change and deforestation.
The 2011 Ashden Award finalists provide policy-makers, businesses and communities across the globe with pioneering real-life examples of how this can be done through the use of local clean energy technologies combined with clever marketing strategies. From the production of biomass pellets from crop waste to replace coal in India to the provision of a range of solar-powered products to off-grid communities in Africa, these finalists prove that it is possible to meet the energy needs of the poor in a way that radically improves lives, drives economic growth, cuts CO2 emissions and saves trees.
Since 2001 Ashden Award winners have improved the lives of 23 million people worldwide and together are saving over three million tonnes of CO2 a year - this years' international finalists alone have saved over half a million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 90,000 UK homes. And it doesn't stop there: all award finalists have ambitious plans to step up their efforts and to continue in their drive to cut carbon emissions and improve lives.
Sarah Butler-Sloss, Founder Director of the Ashden Awards said: "Our dream is a world where access to clean, affordable electricity and fuel can be enjoyed by the poor, transforming living standards, reducing CO2 emissions and easing the pressure on our dwindling forests. The 2011 Ashden Award finalists are making this vision a reality, and their potential for expansion and replication is high. It is our sincere hope that others are inspired to enable their growth and follow their lead".
This year's Asian finalists are:
Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd, Gujarat for fuelling Gujarat's industries with biomass pellets made from crop residues that replace the high carbon, polluting fuels currently used by industry 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.
Husk Power Systems, Bihar for 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.
Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, Pakistan (AKPBS,P) for an innovative programme providing families in remote mountain villages with access to affordable, energy efficient technologies which warm their homes, heat their water and reduce their consumption of fuel wood. The programme tackles deforestation and climate change by saving 100,000 tonnes of wood a year and preventing emissions of around 160,000 tonnes a year of CO2. AKPBS,P aims to extend this approach to other Himalayan countries, which face similar challenges and reach another 17,000 homes by 2014. (ANI)
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