Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Ashden Award winners in the news

A couple of recent stories from the Times of India:

Sunshine on his shoulders

A decade ago, rose pickers in a village near Bangalore would go clumsily about their job in the early morning hours, a basket in one hand and a lamp in the other. It was hell on bent backs. Today, they work for longer hours and with both hands free, in fields lit by solar power. The man who harnessed the sun for them is Harish Hande, 41, managing director, Selco, a company specialising in reaching cheap solar energy to those who need it. Selling over 80,000 installations of photovoltaic (PV) solar-home-systems that provide lighting and are suitable for radios and fans since 1995, Hande has proved that one can wed business with social responsibility. Linking solar lighting to income generation, Selco employees went doorto-door listening to the needs of potential customers and explaining how a few hours of extra light after sunset could lead to more earnings, fewer fumes from gas lamps, and more study time for kids.
Read the full story here

A ray of light

The timing couldn't have been better. As Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh was reiterating India's commitment to a low-carbon economy at Copenhagen on December 7 last year, his colleague, new and renewable energy minister Farookh Abdullah, was inaugurating a 2 MW, zero-carbon footprint solar power plant in Jamuria, Asansol. Incidentally, it once used to be an abandoned thermal power plant with a high carbon foot print.

"It sent a strong message that India is empowered in green energy," says S P Gon Chaudhuri, an engineer and the man behind this green transformation. Chaudhuri has been tapping solar energy for lighting up villages across east India since the time when global warming looked like a distant threat and carbon footprints figured only in science journals
Read the full story here

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