GIBSS: An Indian startup works towards zero net-energy building

by Tashi Mitra

India is currently one of the world’s fastest growing large economies. Low global oil prices are one of the key factors driving India’s consumption-led growth (“Who’s afraid of cheap oil,” The Economist, Jan 23 2016). In the euphoria of low oil prices and growth, it is easy to forget about issues like clean energy, energy efficiency, and overall sustainability. Fortunately, a few startups driven by young, ambitious and socially aware entrepreneurs are not letting this happen.

An article in the Business Standard, published in September 2015, discusses two such entrepreneurs, Arun Shenoy and Mandar Kaprekar, who founded Green India Building Systems and Services (GIBSS). GIBSS, which started from the living room of an apartment in 2010, is now a major innovator in the energy-efficient building space, predicted to reach an annual revenue of 88 million dollars in the next three years.

With offices in four Indian cities as well as in Singapore, GIBSS collaborated with owners of buildings to cut down on operating costs by 60% using creative measures such as geothermal air-conditioning systems, hot water cogeneration, and LED lighting systems. GIBSS also works on energy-saving projects through project financing, conducting thorough inventories of spares, buying back traditional systems.

Geothermal cooling is a major part of GIBSS’ portfolio. Their geothermal heat sink system uses the earth as heat sink unlike conventional systems which use the outside atmosphere as a heat sink. The earth temperatures in most cases are much lower than the atmospheric temperatures thus increasing the efficiency of the air-conditioning these air-conditioning systems.

Within 5 years, the innovation provided by GIBSS products has resulted in savings of 8 million kilowatt hours and 150 million liters of water per year. Their

They have 6 geothermal heat pumps in India and are providing services to data centres, large office buildings, manufacturing facilities, hospitals, hotels, pharma and automotive plants. They are helping 400 buildings achieve net-zero energy status.

Experts suggest that installations of geothermal cooling will grow at a extraordinary 400% per year. This growth is predicted based on a growing market, significant commercial viability of the geothermal technology which generates payback within three years along with support from the Indian Union Ministry. These factors seem pretty stable and alongside a 300% increase in the number of geothermal installation accredited professionals and experts, should enable the expected growth.

The work of startups like GIBSS will shape India’s energy ecosystem. As India grows, it has the opportunity to learn from, and correct the mistakes of developed countries by focusing.


GIBBS Website:



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