Ashden Awards extended to “organizations which have carried out truly excellent, practical, yet innovative schemes demonstrating sustainable energy…at a local level” has come to many Indian organizations.
The International Development Enterprises India won the first prize of £30,000 for its simple device using human power to pump water that has now been sold to half a million treadle pumps to farmers. Appropriate Technology Institute won the first prize, in the ‘food’ category for its “innovative compact biogas system suited to urban households” using “food waste and other sugary, starchy substances rather than dung to produce gas for cooking.” Kanyakumari-based Vivekananda Kendra’s Natural Resources Development Project (NARDEP) won the second price of £10,000 for “a series of advances to biogas designs” that “generate gas for cooking” and for having “developed effective ways of using the slurry as a powerful fertiliser using a combination of new and traditional techniques.”
As India struggles for energy, many non-governmental organizations are struggling to innovate using whatever materials at their disposal which is usually bio waste. A biogas plant has the potential to generate large amount of savings over expenses to deal with the waste. Non-quantifiable benefits include conservation of tree cover, reduction in pollution levels, improvement of health patterns, comparable fertilizer by-product that is cheaper than traditional energy-intensive chemical fertilizer, improvement of soil quality, etc.