Cleantech is the future. Clean technology (Cleantech) is a general term used to describe products, processes, or services that reduce waste and require as few non-renewable resources as possible. The ultimate aim of such cleantech startups is to improve environmental sustainability. Clean technologies are not an industrial sector in themselves, and their image is still somewhat scattered.
Cleantech startups in India develop the technologies, business models, products, and services required to deploy and finance cost-effective Cleantech solutions at scale. Any company that develops or offers a technology, product, or service that involves a response to an environmental issue is a Cleantech enterprise. Cleantech in India not only refers to just the generation of renewable energy but also covers Water and Waste Water Management, Electronic Waste disposal, and Recycling. All forms of RE (wind, small hydro, solar, biomass, and waste to energy) have significant potential in India.
What is cleantech?
Clean technology covers the following aspects:
- Clean energy and energy storage
- Green materials
- Energy and resource efficiency
- Sustainable agriculture
- Sustainable transport
- Water, land, and air quality
- Recycling & waste
The scope of entry into India’s Cleantech market remains high, in a large and industrially-growing country, which will increasingly depend on clean methodologies for generation, transmission, and management of power. Innovative cleantech startups are driving the growth of clean technology. 75% of India’s solar PV capacity is installed by young entrepreneurs. The government is looking at attracting investments in RE of over US$ 200 billion for it to account for 15% of the overall energy basket.
Factors That Drive for Cleantech
- The overall population is still expected to increase rapidly, to 9.9 billion by 2050, mostly in developing regions of the world, further increasing pressure on limited natural resources, increasing supply challenges, and creating price instability.
- As developing countries industrialize rapidly, global demand for natural resources is predicted to increase dramatically, leading to increased resource scarcity.
- Increasing urbanization has a direct impact on consuming resources.
- Energy and resource independence have long been strategic imperatives for many countries.
- Consumer desire for cleaner, less toxic products has changed purchasing patterns and driven the creation of new environment-friendly materials.
- Changing policy and regulatory requirements designed to address the impacts of an increasingly industrialized world.
- In the face of growing constraints and increasing prices, corporations and consumers are seeking increasingly efficient ways to cut costs and increase efficiencies, especially in periods of declining revenue.
- The number of relatively wealthy people (the middle class, essentially) is expected to increase.
- Risk mitigation is also an important driver of Cleantech infrastructure and innovation.
- Climate change is a force that will exacerbate many of these drivers.
Husk Power Systems
Founders: Gyanesh Pandey, Manoj Sinha, Ratnesh Yadav, Charles W. Ransler
Year of Inception: 2007
Husk Power Systems is a startup company based in Bihar, India, that provides power to thousands of rural Indians using proprietary technology that has been developed by the firm that cost-effectively generates electricity using a biomass gasifier that creates fuel from rice husks, a waste product of the rice that separates the husks as chaff from the rice, a staple food in the region. They offer a flexible, 100% renewable energy 'pay-as-you-go' service, using a mobile-enabled smart metering system. With a 24-hour onsite service team and a maximum four-hour response time when issues arise, they provide reliable, low-cost AC power that matches the aspirational needs of our customers; for households, community services, small businesses, and factories.
Founders: Vinay Jaju, Ekta Kothari, Piyush Jaju
Year of Inception: 2009
Solar energy generation schemas like solar rooftop powerplant, solar irrigation pumping etc are benefited by ONergy which provides services like design, engineering, manufacturing, and solar consultancy services. Its main goal is to reduce energy costs for customers through its services. It also provides bank financing and OPEC models to make solar energy affordable. Not only does it make everything affordable, but also manages to provide high-quality products. It keeps a strong after-sales service network where it helps in facilitating consumer financing and develops an ecosystem for sustainable development as well as rural empowerment.
ONergy products such as solar TV, solar computer, solar microgrids, and solar irrigation systems are newly launched as an innovative approach. It operates through a network of trained rural entrepreneurs, leveraging the existing networks of local NGOs, SHG's, and Mathis. Currently, it operates across West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand through a network of RECs that reach out to remote areas. It is spread across 12 states in India.
Founders: Aamir Jariwala, Akshat Ghiya
Year of Inception: 2012
Karma Recycling based in Delhi, India, is a leading trade-in operator and redistribution of mobile devices in India. Its ultimate stakeholders are consumers, retailers, and OEMs where it helps them manage large-scale buyback and trade-in programs which is why it is known as a consumer, enterprise software, and services solution. India is the second-largest mobile devices market in the world and is rapidly becoming a global nerve center for device commerce, e-commerce, and recycling. Through mobile device re-use, tons of e-waste are continually being diverted from landfills. The aim is to extend the life of a mobile device as much as possible, and when it cannot be extended any further, to recycle it responsibly. Karma Recycling has restored an impressive 95% of mobile devices we’ve collected. The remaining 5% are recycled responsibly according to their zero-landfill policy.
A K Surya Power Magic
Founders: Abhilash Thirupathy, Karthic Ravindranath
Year of Inception: 2012
Surya Power Magic based in Coimbatore empowers the Indian farming community by offering them a reliable and durable solar irrigation solution. Power has always been a problem in India which is even so for the average Indian farmer. The company makes affordable solar water pumps for farmers in power deficit regions. Surya Power Magic in 36 startups from India and five startups from the US for companies that are building products for a social cause.
Green India Building Systems and Services (GIBSS)
Founders: Arun Shenoy, Mandar Kaprekar
Year of Inception: 2009
Green India Building Systems and Services is Mumbai-based, has headquarters in Mumbai, and has offices in Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Singapore, Cleantech startup that specialized in geothermal air conditioning technologies for cooling. Other than this, the company also provides ultra energy-efficient innovations like Hot Water Co-generation and LED lighting Systems. The company claims a 50%-60% reduction in cost for users and proportional reduction in carbon footprint for buildings. As of 2015, the company’s technology is used in 400 buildings across India.
At GIBSS, corporate conduct is inseparable from the conduct of individual employees in the performance of their work. Every GIBSS employee is responsible for adhering to business practices and ethical principles that reflect the highest standards of corporate and individual behavior. GIBBS recently won the Sankalp 2012 award winner for the Most Innovative & Sustainable Company in ‘The Clean Tech & Clean Energy Sector’.
Some impacts of GIBBS
- saved over INR690 million for buildings
- saved over 19 million electrical units
- reduced 77% in energy consumption
- saved 350 million liters of water consumption
- reduced 19,000 tonnes of carbon footprint (equivalent to planting 5 lac fully grown trees)
Greenway Grameen Infra Pvt. Ltd.
Founders: Neha Juneja, Ankit Mathur
Year of Inception: 2011
Greenway Grameen infra Pvt. Ltd, being a product-based startup provides home energy appliances for rural Indians by engaging in the design, manufacture, and distribution of fuel-efficient, smoke-reducing affordable products like smart cookstoves and jumbo stoves. It focuses on retail shops including Paytm. It reduces smoke by 70%, fuel by 65%, and GHG emissions by 1.5 tons/year. Its aim is to become a globally recognized brand of choice.
Founders: Saurabh Jain, Utsav Sharma, Nitin Goel
Year of Inception: 2009
Services provided by GreeObin: Waste Audit, Training Program, Recycling Bins, Eco Fair, Recycled Paper products, etc.
GreenObin cleantech startup provides a range of independent recycling and waste paper management facilities to industrial and commercial consumers as well as local authorities. Its mission is to become the premier scrap collection service. Its purpose is to establish a profitable well-managed company while contributing to the environment. They are ultimately known for Recycling waste products in order to save the environment and create awareness among the community. It also works towards cultivating environmental awareness among the workers who consume large amounts of paper.
Founders: Yashraj Khaitan, Jacob Dickinson
Year of Inception: 2010
Since its inception, Gram Power has stood out because of its innovative technology, and ambitious projects, starting from rural microgrids to one of the country's largest smart meter installations. The startup provides cutting-edge Smart Grid technologies to address the electrification challenges in developing nations. The startup has brought smart grids to 30 remote areas in rural India through its Smart Microgrid solution. It's now bringing its technology to the national grid by managing power distribution with its technology for India’s biggest private power distribution company.
Clean-tech + Financing + IoT technologies = A million solar roofs
Founders: Gautam Das, Roli Gupta, Hrishikesh Deshpande
Year of Inception: 2014
India’s rooftop solar market is exploding. India added more solar capacity in 2016 than all previous years combined. The Indian government has an ambitious target of 100GW (~USD 100 Billion) solar capacity deployed by 2022, out of which 40% is the rooftop. Today, Oorjan is one of the most innovative and fastest-growing platforms for rooftop solar in India.
Oorjan directly partners with the best solar brands in India and globally to get volume discounts and pass them on to you. It has direct agreements with nationalized banks to provide low-interest loans for homes, housing societies, businesses, and non-profit institutions.
Founders: Akshay Singhal, Kartik Hajela
Year of Inception: 2015
Log 9 Materials is a nanotechnology company headquartered in Bangalore, India, unleashing sustainable energy and filtration benefits. It is a nanotechnology company specializing in Graphene. It was awarded ‘Most Innovative Technology Company of 2018’ by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It has developed Aluminium fuel technology for stationary and automotive applications. Log 9 has determined a team of scientists and engineers working on commercializing Graphene. Recently, Log 9 Spill Containment has developed an indoor air purifier named ‘Sorbene’ UV Air Purifier.
Founder: Abhishek Gupta
Year of Inception: 2019
OxyGarden is an IoT-enabled garden that purifies indoor air naturally by eliminating viruses, bacteria, dust particles, and harmful chemical pollutants like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, etc. The idea Of Oxy-Garden came from a vision of a happier and healthier lifestyle for humanity. Oxygen the most fundamental element of life is what it offers. Most of us remain indoors for 90% of our daily life, breathing in air that is impure, contaminated, and polluted which is where OxyGarden plays a vital role. Customer relationship is its first priority, it always drives towards providing the best service to the customers.
Founders: Neeraj Kumar, Manish Kumar Das
Year of Inception: 2017
Skilancer solar is India’s fastest-growing solar Module Cleaning System (MCS) provider. It focuses on solar cleaning types of equipment for solar panels of commercial parks and establishments. It employs an autonomous robotic cleaning system capable of cleaning the solar panels without water or any manual intervention. The robot is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) in order to work according to weather conditions and power generation.
Founders: Deekshit Vara Prasad, Yasa Pavan Reddy, Vanam Sravan Krishna
Year of Inception: 2018
AirOk works towards helping people adopt clean and efficient energy as part of their lives with their innovation and technology that also transforms India’s economy. It develops industry-specific technologies instead of generic technologies to control pollution in industrial and residential environments. The Delhi-based startup launched an indigenously developed smart air purifier called Vistar 550 for the B2B segment. Using EAGPA, the purifier can filter out particulate matter, microbes, fungus, and gaseous substances (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide).
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, they have also released their own AirOk Breath Safe Face Mask which is crafted using a breathable fabric that is capable of shielding from viruses and bacteria.
The Cleantech startups in India are growing year on year, seeking to produce environment-friendly products which should benefit the natural environment by adopting clean production technology and using harmless or less harmful new techniques, energy resources, and technology. As such, it is an integral concept in sustainable development. India needs to develop green technologies that will help the country to produce cleaner energy and to consume it more efficiently. Clean-tech startups are seen by the country's leaders as future pillars of Indian Sustainable Development.