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GreenOil

GreenOil converts organic and farming waste to electricity and organic fertilizer by a process of anaerobic digestion.

Facts

Investee GreenOil, founded 2008
Location India
Sector Energy
Funding period 2011-2015
Funding type Equity
Website http://www.greenoil.in/

 

Impact

Context

  • India is a rapidly growing economy. However, of its 1.3 billion population, a significant proportion still face access challenges to a critical resource, namely electricity. Lack of access to electricity in turn limits people's potential to earn money, education of children, and overall quality of life.
  • India's economy is dominated by a dependence on agriculture, with 56% of India's labor force engaged in agriculture. Soil health and nutrition is therefore an important part of what concerns and engages these agriculture workers. Overuse of chemical fertilizer in past decades has led to loss of soil nutrition, environmental pollution, and a growing number of diseases in the populace that consumes agriculture products like grain and vegetables.
  • As a country, India generates a huge amount of waste every year, the disposal of which has become a national concern. In rural areas, people burn farming and animal waste for cooking fuel. Often this is done in small windowless huts, and the toxic fumes generated from burning causes irreparable health damage.
  • Farmers in rural areas are dependent on the weather, the government, and middlemen for economic sustenance. They form one of the most vulnerable and impoverished communities in India, leading to a larger BOP that lies below the poverty line. Helping this community become economically stable would result in happier rural communities, and reduce urban migration to a large extent.

Solution

GO addresses this situation by using locally available organic and farming wastes to produce electricity, thus empowering local communities. Using a process of anaerobic digestion, made more efficient, scalable and reproducible through GO innovations, it effectively disposes of gathering waste to create methane that may be used as a clean cooking fuel or to generate electricity. In addition, organic fertilizer is created as a by-product that helps soil nutrition and longevity, and reduces the need for spending on irrigation or chemical fertilizers. GO is setting up its first waste-to-energy power plant in Rajasthan.

Impact depth

GO helps to generate secure, long-term income for landless laborers. Small and marginal farmers that use their organic fertilizer are able to increase their income. GO manages large quantities of waste which would otherwise be dumped in the open, leading to air and ground water pollution.

Impact Reach 2012 2013 2014 2015
# of units produced electricity (in million kWh) n/a 1.63 6.52 6.52
# of waste managed (in MT) 1'800 8'000 16'000 16'000
# of natural fertilizer sold (in MT) 450 3'000 6'000 6'000