Climate change is a reality that’s come into existence due to the release of green house gases from countries, irrespective of developed or developing nations. It’s a certainty that while India is pursuing policies for rapid economic growth rate, it’s also experiencing an increase in production, consumption of goods and demand for energy — resulting in an increase in carbon emissions and environmental pollution, especially in cities.
In this high pollution scenario, sensing an opportunity to balance growth and environmental concerns, Indian entrepreneurs and startups are stepping up their efforts to tackle environmental degradation by offering solutions that utilize alternative sources of energy, reduce emissions and manage waste.
Due to rapid urbanization, Indian cities are producing large quantities of waste. Rather than following the old practice of burning entire landfills, there is an urgent requirement to effectively segregate and recycle waste.
Hyderabad-based Banyan Nation is using a combination of informatics and polymer science to solve the woes of this large scale problem. Banyan Nation has come up with an IoT (Internet Of Things) based solution that helps city officials track collection efficiencies, and waste that is occupying free land in the city. Its smart waste technology platform allows cities to manage city waste and recycling operations through a combination of on-field sensors like biometric attendance devices, bin sensors, GPS truck routers, landfill management toolkits and back end analytic engines. It aims to take cities online and create effective and efficient data around waste. In recognition for its efforts, in 2017 this startup has been chosen for Intel & DST Innovate for Digital India Challenge 2.0 award.
Alternate sources of energy
In 2017 according to India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), the total renewable capacity including solar, wind, bio-mass and small hydro grew by around 11.2 GW, where as thermal capacity addition, electricity generation via coal, registered a decline of 50% this year. Along with this, Bridge to India reported that last year the country added 5,526 MW of new solar capacity, this figure was an increase of over 83% in comparison to 2015-16 levels.
In their endeavors to add to the existing solar capacity of the country, social enterprises such as Selco have played an instrumental role in raising awareness, funds and taking innovations such as solar powered lanterns and micro grid to rural areas. While sharing his views on India’s fight against climate change Harish Hande, Managing Director of solar lighting solutions company SELCO-India and a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner said:
There is need to invest in building human resources in rural areas in the field of sustainable energy. For instance, we need to have energy technicians in rural areas. Then, there has to be a focus on end-user financing… We could, for instance, encourage innovations that look at the motors that run rice mills. Today, they use diesel. How can there be innovation to make motors that run efficiently on sustainable energy.
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