India may be one of the biggest CO2 emitters on the planet, but they’re also one of the most inspiring places to find creative green business ideas. Check out these two green entrepreneurial ventures that are bringing green energy and green commuting to the masses.
Bringing Renewable Energy to Those without Clean Power in India
Much of India remains non-electrified, making power one of the biggest development issues for the country. Being touted as a “radically affordable” renewable energy option, Simpa Networks may be the key to making solar available to 1.6 billion consumers in the world.
Working on a progressive purchase basis, Simpa Networks provides solar photovoltaic systems to customers at very affordable rates. Customers put down an initial, but small, down payment, and then they pre-pay for the service. Once the prepaid credit is exhausted, the solar system becomes disabled temporarily, until the customer tops up to add more “credit” to their energy bank account, which they can do by mobile phone.
The best news is that each payment goes toward paying the capital costs of installation so that once fully paid, which can be in as few as 10 years, the customer owns the clean energy system for the rest of its useful life. The company currently offers this service in Karnataka, India, but hopes to expand globally.
OliveTrips for an Eco-Friendly Commute Using Only Your Mobile Phone
This newest Indian solution to hitching a sustainable ride to work starts with a Gmail address and a mobile phone number. Anyone can register their car, vehicle, or bicycle with OliveTrips, listing the seating capacity, mileage, and fuel type. From there, “vehicle” owners input their hoped-for destinations, including dates, co-rider preferences, and other details. This all gets entered into the OliveTrips database which can be accessed by anyone looking for a ride that matches their requirements.
A user can then express interest in a desired trip, which generates an email and SMS sent to the owner of the ride. Users of the service get reports periodically from OliveTrips that detail the environmental benefits they’ve obtained by using greener travel methods.