labels: economy - general
Two Indian projects among 10 short-listed for Ashden awardsnews
25 May 2007

Mumbai: Two pioneering projects from India - a Karnataka firm that provides biogas to thousands of rural families from dung-based plants and a Kerala company involved in tackling the problem of dumped food waste - are among 10 global projects short-listed for the Ashden awards for sustainable energy - popularly known as the `Green Oscars''.

SKG Sangha from Karnataka and BIOTECH from Kerala will compete with contenders from Nepal, Bangladesh, the Philippines, China, Ghana, Lao PDR, Tanzania and Peru for the five awards and the prize money.

Former U S vice president Al Gore will present the awards and more than 200,000 pounds (Rs17 lakh) of prize money — meant to help project expansion and replication in other communities both locally and nation-wide — to the winners at the Royal Geographical Society in London on June 21.

SKG Sangha has been selected for radically improving the lives of thousands of rural families in Karnataka by supplying them with both dung based biogas plants for cooking and a specially designed unit that turns the slurry from the biogas plant into high quality fertilizer.

The units supplied by SKG Sangha produce fertiliser simply by combing the slurry with straw and leaves and then adding worms which re-digest the mixture to produce vermin-compost.

This vermin-compost improves the yields of family crops and women can earn as much from selling half the vermin-compost they produce as the household earns from selling the crops they grow. Since 1993, SKG Sangha has installed over 43,000 biogas plants in Karnataka alone.

BIOTECH has been selected for tackling the problem of dumping of food waste in the streets of Kerala through the installation of biogas plants that use the waste to produce gas for cooking and, in some cases, electricity for lighting.

To date BIOTECH has built and installed 12,000 domestic plants (160 of which also use human waste from latrines to avoid contamination of ground water), 220 institutional plants and 17 municipal plants that use waste from markets to power generations.

"The Ashden Awards are a powerful reminder that well designed and managed local sustainable energy initiatives can tackle climate change while meeting the needs of local communities. Tackling these issues simultaneously — in both rich and poor countries — is critical to addressing the twin planetary challenges of climate change and sustainable development," Al Gore said.

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Two Indian projects among 10 short-listed for Ashden awards