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Last updated at 15:37 BST, Tuesday, 12 June 2012

India's eco-friendly innovations


12 June 2012

Last year, India had faster growth in clean technology than any other major world economy, with more than $10 billion of investment. Many say environmentally-friendly technology can help solve some of the country's energy problems - but can it make money too?


Rajini Vaidyanathan

A man and a boy looking at the computer


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In her small mud hut in a village a few hours from Mumbai, Bali Bhalla is cooking rice on an open stove. As flames dance from the fire, acrid smoke circles around the room. More than two-thirds of Indians live in rural areas and cook like this. But there are environmental concerns about the stoves - one study estimated they're responsible for four per cent of the country's greenhouse gas emissions.

And that's something Neha Juneja wants to change. She's started a company which produces eco-friendly cooking stoves - she says they emit 80% less smoke and use less wood. For her, green technology isn't just about saving the planet, but also about making money.

Neha Juneja: "I and my co-founder, we quit good paying jobs to start this, but we did not start this with a purely social or charitable mission. We saw it as a business and we still see it as a very good opportunity for us to fulfil our dream of bringing a good product to the market and also being financially comfortable."

In a factory on the outskirts of Mumbai, Nitin Bhodale shows me his innovation - a machine which can turn plastic into petrol. At one end of a five metre high cylinder workers drop bags of rubbish; an hour later, crude oil starts to drip out at the other end.

And there is big money to be made - more than $10 billion of funds was pumped into green energy last year, making India the country with the fastest rate of growth. With a rising population, the need for more power in the country is increasing. The belief is that green tech won't just help improve the environment but also the business climate too.


Click to hear the vocabulary





harsh, unpleasant

greenhouse gas

fumes that damage the atmosphere


reduces harm to the environment


give out, release


beneficial to the environment


satisfy, complete


new creation, unique concept


round container

crude oil


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