Innovative Climate Solutions

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Here are some of the most simple yet innovative climate solution that have been successfully implemented all over India. …

Here are some of the most simple yet innovative climate solution that have been successfully implemented all over India.
These innovations were discovered during The IYCN Climate Solutions Road Tour.

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  • 1. India Climate Solutions: Some of our favourites Climate Solution 1: Muni Seva Ashram, Goraj, Gujurat The school at Muni Seva Ashram in Goraj, Gujarat is a complete utopia of climate solutions. A 13kW solar PV power plant, designed by Ghadia Solar, provides electricity for school buildings; a biomass gasifier powers the irrigation pumps for the children’s organic farm and neighbouring farms; a solar cooker feeds hundreds of students; distributed solar PV on individual dorm buildings feed lights and fans; a biogas project provides cooking gas for on-site staff quarters; and rain water harvesting replenishes the ground water. The school is for local village children from all over Gujarat and is a place where they can learn the values of preserving the planet. This is a truly inspiring integrated energy solution for off-grid locations. Every available renewable resource is harnessed and utilized. Climate Solution 2: Biogas production, Modachinnapally, near Hyderabad This is a solution we have come across again and again across India, utilising a wealth of different organic waste feed-stocks in each location. One of the most exciting examples was bio-gas cooking in the village Modachinnapally, on the outskirts of Hyderabad. With the rising costs of L.P.G and the additional transportation costs, the villagers discovered the most pragmatic way of cooking, using the bio-gas. All they needed is a resource they already possessed, the GOBAR. The mixture of gobar and water is fed into an underground cemented tank where bacteria promotes catalytic breakdown of molecules to release bio-gas which is supplied through a tube to the kitchen after which they can control the flow of the gas using a conventional regulator. This is a flawless example of sustainable development. Climate Solution 3: Sustainable agriculture practices at M.C. Pally, near Hyderabad and C. Jalalapuram, Anantpur Reverting to traditional and organic methods of agriculture in the farming sector is a solution we came across in numerous states. Agriculture is responsible for 28% of India’s emissions and is also one of the most vulnerable sectors to climate change. In two villages, M.C. Pally and C. Jalalapuram, numerous solutions are being implemented to improve productivity, water tables, soil fertility, and crop resilience in the face of ever more unpredictable weather patterns. These include decentralised biogas production, drip irrigation, mixed crop planting, seed saving in seed banks, natural fertilisation and vermicomposting, water harvesting via check dams, ponds and minimal pesticide use with the incorporation of natural pesticides. Both of these rural farming communities are seeing a rise in their water tables, greater crop productivity, and therefore an improvement in income. The village communities have received guidance from the MV Foundation and RIDS respectively which have given support to these changes. Climate Solution 4: Solar-integrated Reva electric cars, across the country Highlighting both the opportunity and the gaps still to be bridged in India’s clean power infrastructure, the Reva car is one of the most innovative, clean mobility solutions we have come across. This new solar-integrated model, with a lithium ion battery, which we have driven 3500km across India, gains 10% of its charge from solar panels on its roof and travels over 150km on a 6hr charge using 12kWh of energy.
  • 2. Reva estimates that not only are their cars 20% more carbon efficient than petrol or diesel powered cars when powered off India’s largely fossil-fuel powered grid, but they hold the potential to become increasingly carbon neutral as the grid power becomes based on wind, solar and other clean energy sources. The cars themselves are also made from recycled ABS plastic, and can be recycled, along with their batteries. Climate Solution 5: CII Green Building Hyderabad – Kartik? Plants that process waste, an air cooling chimney, grass roof, natural lighting, low energy recycled building materials, architecture that supports natural cooling and ventilation, educational hub for green architecture Climate Solution 6: Environmental Education – Tribal Girls School, Gujarat While Environmental Education has been made a mandatory subject by the Supreme Court in school and university curriculums, in the interior of Dharampur, at Eco-Centre, they have taken it a step further. Environmental Education lies at the heart of their educational system. Students from tribal communities combine traditional thoughts and modern ideas to manage natural resources in a sustainable manner. A high emphasis on practical education ensures that students are more aware about the technological aspects of using solar energy. Consequently students help villagers to install and manage solar cookers. Even in their hostels, all their energy needs are met by solar energy. Climate Solution 7: ICT, clean power and transmission: Smart solar microgrid, outskirts of Hyderabad Nestling on the outskirts of Hyderabad, an innovative partnership between property developer SA Habitat, and Solar Company Valence Energy, is coming up, one which incorporates renewable decentralised energy production, smart grids, home automation and electric cars. 18 of the 330 houses that make up this residential complex are equipped with a 4.2kW solar PV system on their roof, which will provide 40% of the housing electricity needs. They come equipped with solar water heaters too, and perhaps most futuristically are all fully automated or 'smart'. This allows every home feature to be controlled remotely, including the lights, ventilation, gas and water, and also enables remote shopping and entertainment. Although not necessarily an energy saving feature as it stands, the potential for such technology therefore to minimise energy use within a household and a community is great. The automation systems being installed in each home are not yet fully complete, but they will include remote sensing, monitoring and control devices, as well as smart meters, embedded into each room. These will allow the homeowner to have continuous information available to them on water, gas and electricity use, the sources of their electricity, their carbon emissions, and up to date costs of each material in rupees per unit. Climate Solution 8: Carbon positive Industrial Ecosystem, Ahmadabad It’s no longer ‘food for fuel’, its ‘grass for gas’. Using waste grass clippings to produce fuel is just one of a holistic suite of solutions being implemented at Claris Pharmaceuticals in Gujarat, India’s first carbon positive corporation. Every element of this manufacturing plant, from the building design
  • 3. through to each of its operations has set new benchmarks for climate best practice. Finally the grass is greener on the other side. Clean Decentralised Power The power supply for this energy intensive business is 70% powered by on or near-site waste. Using clippings from their lawns and castor oil cake and sawdust from neighbouring farms, this plant excels in meeting its requirements with little to no ecological footprint. Cut grass, as an unlikely hero, provides 92% of its energy value when processed in a biomass gasifier and as a result, gives the plant 40 days of power per year. Future plans include utilising algae fed on CO2 extracted from waste flue gases, building a 2MW solar electric station to provide 30% of their electricity needs, and implementing solar thermal for water heating. Claris Pharmaceuticals use no fossil fuels for their thermal process heat, a huge achievement given the nature of their core operations – producing pharmaceuticals. Water saving There are thirteen water recharging wells across the compound, which feed into an underground aquifer from which the lawns and plants are fed. The plant utilises rainwater harvesting also, and re- uses treated water. Green Architecture and Operations From the building orientation, which is carefully designed to create psychological harmony, to the way it sits on the soil, which minimises its impact on the microcosm of organisms that exist in the soil, this plant (which is still being completed) has incorporated features that will allow it to operate in harmony with the natural environment. The employees too are taught how they are part of climate solutions, and although they all work very hard, seem highly motivated and excited for the cause. The motor systems used during manufacture also utilise state of the art energy conservation technology, with variable speed drives ensuring they utilise only the energy they require. The whole plant is based on the principles of Vastu Shashtra (water, air, fire, earth, wind). Climate Solution 9: Waste recycling in Panaji, Goa Improper Waste Management is a problem across India, with burning and burying releasing greenhouse gases and numerous other atmospheric, ground and water pollutants as well as toxic leachate into groundwater sources. Proper awareness on simple waste management skills such as separation of waste at source, recycling, & composting are answers to this dilema. Clinton Vaz, a Goan Environmentalist, has been working with local municipalities to select decentralized, and low cost waste management techniques. Here in Goa, they have brought about an 85% reduction in waste going into landfill. How have they done this? Eighty-five composting units have been constructed in Panjim, the highest number of composting stations in any city in India; they are recycling all of the dry waste that comes into the city, which equates to about 20 trucks per week. They are also working with corporates to take responsibility for their own waste, with Pepsi, Bisleri, Coke and Tetrapak already on board and sponsoring a recycling centre for people to return this waste within the city. In the future, they hope to get more companies involved. In addition, Clinton is conducting training programmes at schools and community centres on how to separate waste, raising awareness about the importance and
  • 4. mechanism by which this solution can be adopted. Excitingly, the courts have actually started asking other municipalities to start following the example of Panaji. Climate Solution 10: Reforestation of the Dharaavi slum wastelands, Mumbai One of the many inspirational stories we had a chance to document en route was the transformation of a waste dumping ground near Dharaavi, the largest slum in Asia, into a national park. This was something that was imperceptible to me until we actually witnessed it ourselves. The Maharashtra National Park is adorned with a large variety of medicinal plants with nature walk trails around the park signifying the need for biodiversity. They are also efficiently using every drop of water in the park by diverting it into a pond, where they also breed fish to spread the awareness and the importance of water ecology. They are also working towards cleaning the most polluted river in Mumbai, the Meeti river, which runs along the park. This park also aids botanists and zoologists to research on the various indigenous species for the city of Mumbai. For instance we were enlightened by a butterfly enthusiast with his tremendous research work on the park. Climate Solution 11: Lighting: Visual Dimensions, low energy lighting solutions – Low energy Printed Signage and Low Energy Low Maintenance Dream Panels This fantastic set of lighting products for restaurants, events and night-time advertising has been developed by Ravi Bahal, manager of the Indian owned CA based company, Visual Dimensions. Amongst their array of low energy, low impact products, are light boxes and neon sign alternatives which can operate with 80% less of the energy and a lifetime of more than 7 years. If you want more details on any of these solutions, please contact: Can give my details?