Some Indian companies are taking the lead in providing access to sustainable, low-cost energy that also seems to be linked to poverty reduction. Two of those companies, Abellon Clean Energy and SELCO, have seized the entrepreneurial reins in providing viable models hat can combat poverty.
Abellon is developing a palette of clean energy solutions via bio energy, biomass sourcing, waste management, solar energy, and agrisciences. The company describes its business model as the Poornakumbha – “a social development platform with holistic approach to sustainable development at grass roots levels.”
According to Abellon, “Poornakumbha not only looks at waste as an income and employment generating opportunity but goes much beyond the wealth from waste paradigm to help rural communities make gainful utilization of agri-residue and other resources, increase agricultural productivity and yields and strengthen market linkages, enable improvement in agricultural systems and processes through education and training of farmers, and specially focus on development of backward tribal areas.”
Abellon Poornakumbha has established a decentralized collection effort in the rural heartland of Surendranagar, Gujarat. It reports a record collection of cotton biomass at Vitthalapara, collecting over 22,000 tons from 50 villages and 8,000 farmers at 10 collection centers. The biomass, thus collected, will be used as an inexpensive feedstock to make ”Pellexo” – a sustainable fuel.
SELCO, a social enterprise entity that was established in 1995, provides reliable energy services for the poor in India by offering solar lighting. Today, SELCO services have grown to include clean cooking.
The company seeks to ‘”look at the product not just from a technology standpoint but from the ecosystem around a product; looking at the servicing around providing a solution to the end user,” says Sarah Alexander, who oversee the company’s innovations unit.
According to Abellon, the success from Abellon Poornakumbha has allowed it to create favorable change at environmental, social and economic levels – all which line up with its core philosophy of generating “Value-out-of-Waste.”
On the agricultural end, Abellon also produces Earth Essentials, a 100 percent natural premium plant nutrition and soil enhancer. The company reports this product is a balanced blend of bio-organic nutritional materials that enhances soil health and fertility, and protecting plants from insects and diseases. In addition, the product is easy to handle and has no bad odor.
To drive growth and to address huge environmental concerns, companies like these are succeeding at creating business models that focus on decentralized energy systems, including hand-held solar lights, small-scale solar panels, and biofuel energy. By spreading word about these emerging technologies, off-grid, low-income households in rural areas may enjoy many green solutions, while enhancing their chance to increase income.