Indian, Pakistani companies win green energy awards

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Two Indian companies which recycle waste products into sources of power and a Pakistani firm that fits energy-saving devices in homes were on Thursday honoured with major green energy awards.

They were three of the winners at this year's Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy, one of the world's most prestigious green energy honours, each picking up £20,000 ($32,200, 22,800 euros) prize money at a London ceremony.

The British awards, which started in 2001, aim to encourage the greater use of local clean energy and to address climate change and alleviate poverty.

Ghanaian firm Toyola Energy Ltd. won the top prize, the £40,000 Gold Award, for its success in making stoves that burn less charcoal than traditional models and that are accessible to low-income families.

The Indian firms, Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd. and Husk Power Systems, and Pakistani company, The Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, were among four other international winners.

"Our dream is a world where access to clean, affordable electricity and fuel can be enjoyed by the poor, transforming living standards, reducing CO2 emissions and easing the pressure on dwindling forests," said awards director Sarah Butler-Sloss.

"The 2011 Ashden Award winners are making this vision a reality, and their potential for expansion and replication is high."

Abellon CleanEnergy Ltd., based in Gujarat state, western India, was recognised for its business of producing biomass pellets from crop waste to fuel industries in the area.

As well as replacing traditional industrial fuels with a cleaner alternative, the business also gives farmers a market for waste products.

Husk Power Systems, based in Bihar state, eastern India, was honoured for using a common waste product, rice husks, to produce electricity for remote villages in the area.

The Ashden Awards judges said that the novel way of producing electricity provided a reliable supply and was cheaper than alternatives.

Pakistani firm, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Service, was selected for helping families in mountain villages save energy and make their homes warmer through a range of locally-produced devices.

Carpenters and metal workers employed by the company make products including fuel-efficient stoves, water heaters and wall and floor insulation.

© 2011 AFP

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