How viable is the solar energy business?

by Tashi Mitra

Solar energy as a viable business is crucial to the world’s energy market. The jury has been out on this question: is it possible to make money in the solar business?With oil prices at an all time low, the viability question becomes even more relevant as development related investments in the solar energy sector could dramatically reduce. The world’s dependence on fossil fuels — coal, oil, etc — over the years has resulted in an environmental degradation of an unprecedented level. Hence it is crucial that alternative energies, like wind and solar, become viable businesses. Continue reading

The role of the Indian Government in increasing the country’s energy efficiency

by Tashi Mitra

India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and its cities are extremely polluted. While the energy consumption is lower than the global per capita norms, it is increasing rapidly. The Indian Government has a complex problem to solve – how does it fuel economic growth, which will consume much more energy whilst driving energy efficiency and sustainability. This post primarily focuses on the Indian Government’s approach towards increasing energy efficiency and its initiatives addressing climate change. The Indian Government has put together various nodal agencies: National Mission for Enhancing Energy Efficiency. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

UPS Delivers More While Using Less : It’s a Rolling Laboratory

by Tashi Mitra

UPS, the global leader in express parcel delivery companies, is faced with the challenge of delivering millions of parcels all over the world, everyday, while trying to consume less energy. How does UPS meet this challenge?

UPS achieves this by focusing on:

  1. Alternative fuels and advanced technologies
  2. Fuel supply
  3. Fleet – both ground and air

UPS has created a Rolling Laboratory, which has implemented this program in nine countries, across 5088 vehicles and saved usage of 60 million gallons of conventional fuel since 2000. The Rolling Laboratory has traveled 505 million miles since 2000 and plans to travel 1 billion miles by 2017. Alternative fuels of CNG, Hybrid – Electric and hydraulic are used in suburban operating situations (range   100 miles average), Electric and ethanol are used in City Centers (range less than 60 miles), Propane is used for rural vehicles (range 100 + miles) and LNG/CNG/Biomethane used for long hauls (range 400 – 600 miles average). Continue reading