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Connecting The Development Sector

Indian entrepreneurs walk the talk on climate innovation: WWF-India’s Climate Solver awards

GoBarefoot: With the world worried about climate change and global warming, there are organisations that are actively working towards combating these.

Small and medium enterprises, being a major consumer of energy, have a lot of potential to use methods and technology that is not only energy efficient but also reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

WWF-India, in an event organised in New Delhi, awarded two such organisations who are using technology to come up with eco-friendly innovations.

The Climate Solver award under the GHG reduction and Energy Access category, respectively, was won by entrepreneurs – Oorja Energy Engineering Pvt Ltd and Boond Engineering Services Pvt Ltd.

Climate Solver is a global innovation platform that encourages innovations in technology and business models that contribute towards mitigating climate change and enhancing energy access through their economic growth. “The Climate Solver platform complements efforts by the government to provide momentum to the innovation ecosystem in the country,” said Ravi Singh, SG and CEO, WWF-India.

The winning innovation by Oorja is its radiant cooling solution that provides for an energy efficient way to meet the otherwise extremely energy intensive cooling demands of the building sector. In addition to lowering energy consumption by about 30%, the system helps reduce noise levels, improve indoor air quality and lower radiating heat from various objects that makes the occupants feel comfortable even at higher room temperatures. It is also estimated that this solution, if replicated at scale, can mitigate 30 million tonnes of GHG emissions by 2025.

Boond emerged as the winner in the energy access category for its microgrid solution for underserved communities in remote villages. It is estimated to reach out to 23 million people by 2025, if replicated at a large scale in the developing world. Boond’s business model enables ease-of-payment through its USB stick based recharge facility allowing households to pay for the energy as per their needs. This innovative solution provides better lighting facility leading to reduced usage of kerosene, better communication through phone charging points and extended light-hours that enhance education and local business.

Speaking at the event, Stefan Henningsson, Senior Adviser Climate Innovation, Climate & Energy Practice, WWF Sweden, addressed a very important question – Can we achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050? “Yes we can,” he said. “All over the world, countries and organisations are coming up with innovations that can help us achieve this goal. From bamboo winding pipeline replacing steel and concrete in China, a flexible, solar powered cars in South Africa to U.S.A using bacteria to make bricks, some of the best innovations are emerging from the SME sector that are scalable and have tremendous scope for mitigating carbon emissions.”

He further highlighted how the “World Bank estimates the clean technology market in developing countries to have a value of $6.4 trillion in 10 years. However, while there is relatively high public research and development expenditure, not many clean-tech entrepreneurs are listed on the stock market, especially in India. Thus, the need for expansion finance for Indian entrepreneurs is an issue of Indian competitiveness as well as the global emissions reduction.”

The award event was followed by a panel discussion that converged views from multiple stakeholders, including industry associations, incubation centers, financial institutions, academic institutions and climate solver SMEs to discuss and deliberate on the climate innovation scenario in the country and the way forward to accelerate the innovation ecosystem.


Click here to read the GoBarefoot Blog on a study of green initiatives adopted by MSME Sector in energy conservation.

Anjani Monga

Passionate about social causes, Anjani is a journalist by profession and worked with Economic Times earlier.
She did her graduation in English Hons. from Delhi University and post graduation in journalism.

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