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Clean energy pioneers from India winners of 'Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy'

London , Fri, 17 Jun 2011 ANI

London, June 17 (ANI): Two companies from India - Abellon Clean Energy Ltd. and Husk Power Systems were on Thursday night announced as winners of this year's Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy'.


Winners from Pakistan and Africa and an overall Gold Award winner from Ghana were also announced at a VIP Awards ceremony in London last night, which was addressed by Greg Barker, UK Government Minister for Climate Change.


The Prince of Wales, Patron of the Ashden Awards, who personally congratulated the international winners in a meeting earlier on Thursday, said: "The Ashden Awards show what it is possible to do now in saving resources and cutting emissions. They remind us how, as individuals, we can make a huge difference to the world in which we live. In a nutshell, they remind us that acting locally is, in fact, acting globally."


The Ashden Awards, which is the world's most prestigious green energy awards, showcase practical solutions to combat climate change and meet the energy needs of the poor, rewarding outstanding and innovative clean energy schemes across the developing world and in the UK.


Abellon Clean Energy Ltd from Gujarat was awarded ?20,000 for producing biomass pellets from crop waste to fuel Gujarat's industries and for giving farmers a market for their waste products.


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," he added.


Gujarat's farmers, who have been plagued by erratic rainfall and increased soil salinity are also helped by Abellon, which not only provides 8,500 of them with extra income for their crop residues, but has also set up an NGO - Poornakumbha - to advise them on how to increase crop yields through sustainable practices: "Our aim isn't just to make the farmers richer by selling biomass, but to make them richer by improving agricultural practices," said Ganeshbai Patel, Poornakumbha trainer.


Abellon currently produces over 65,000 tonnes of biomass pellets a year and 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 from Bihar was awarded ?20,000 for connecting remote villages in Bihar to a clean, reliable electricity supply, which provides better light, harnesses a widespread waste product - rice husks - and costs less than alternatives.


Husk Power has already built 65 plants that generate electricity from gas produced by rice husks and other biomass waste. The electricity is then distributed via Husk Power's local grids, to around 180,000 off-grid villagers in Bihar.


Husk Power is a social enterprise that goes beyond simply supplying electricity. In the words of the founder, Gaynesh Pandey: " We have set up training programmes that takes people from rural areas without education and converts them into skilled workers." (ANI)


Read More: Susta | Climate Change

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