Asia needs clean technology. Home to 4.4 billion people with 700 million of those having no access to electricity and nearly 1.7 billion having no access to safe drinking water, with deforestation rates faster than anywhere else on Earth, and whose countries are situated mostly in areas that incur great damage from nature’s tantrum, Asia’s environmental issues are great.
And it is not just electricity and water. A study by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) predicted that by 2030, the agriculture sector would need to produce 100 percent more food with diminishing water supply, have more than 1 billion vehicles emitting 80 percent of air pollution in Asian cities, and produce 46 percent of global CO2 emissions by 2035.
Lucky for Asia that its startups are stepping up. Here’s 13:
Husk Power Systems
Focused on inclusive rural development on the backbone of electric power
Husk Power Systems has developed a proprietary technology that generates electricity using rice husks processed in a biomass gasifier. The company’s business model is that of rural electrification based on a decentralised electricity generation and distribution that locals can sufficiently manage using local resources, or mini-plants. Currently, Husk Power Systems has installed 84 localised power plants servicing over 200,000 people in over 300 villages across Bahir, India.
Harnessing vehicular movement for power and profit
Transkinetic, a Singapore-based startup founded in 2013, is the creator and manager of patented technology called Movnetic. The technology revolves around a smart road hump that absorbs kinetic energy from moving vehicles and converts it into clean electricity that is distributed through and managed by the Movnetic system. Transkinetic primarily works with research partners such as the Department of Engineering of the National University of Singapore and is funded by several government agencies and a regional venture capital company.
Creating more accessible clean energy
HiGi Energy is a Philippine-based startup that converts water hyacinth into briquettes that act as an alternative cooking energy. In a country where 65 percent of the 100 million population still use firewood and charcoal, the company aims to both help reduce tree cuttings and help clean up rivers and lakes by using the invasive water hyacinth. HiGi has recently been awarded at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Silicon Valley.
Save the planet, earn good karma
A leading trade-in redistributor of mobile devices founded in 2013,Karma Recycling aims to minimise the negative impact of e-waste through reselling, recycling, refurbishing, or proper disposal of gadgets and electronics. Based in India where there are over 950 million devices currently in use, the company is backed by clean energy venture capitalist Infuse Ventures.
Breakthrough water remediation technology
EcoWorth Tech is a Singapore-based startup that developed the Carbon Fibre Aerogel – a material that can clean up liquid industrial waste from a wide range of industries and allow it to be discharged into drains. The company prides on the process and the product being eco-friendly; Carbon Fiber Aerogel are created from natural materials like waste paper, are reusable, and are used for food waste recycling, industrial water treatment, and oil decontamination. EcoWorth was founded in 2016 as a spin-out from Singapore’s Nanyang Technical University.
RAD Green Solutions
Developed a revolutionary, non-burn system for the destruction of bio-medical wastes
Based in the southern Philippine city of Davao, RAD Green Solutions was formed by a team of engineers to develop an environmentally-safe, low-cost waste management system called the Pyroclave. The system decomposes medical waste using extreme heat without oxygen in a process called Pyrolysis that, unlike incineration, produces fewer by-products and effectively carbonises all solid material with 50% less carbon dioxide. The company has won many awards for this technology, most recently as a runner-up in the 2016 National Invention Contest and Exhibit by the Philippine’s Department of Science and Technology.
The best solution to constructively utilise plastic waste
Formerly known as Karboneum, BlueRen has developed a process treatment that creates carbon nanotubes from trash like plastic bottles and plastic bags. Carbon nanotubes, which are 100 percent stronger than steel and are excellent conductors of electricity, can be used in optics, electronics, energy storage, and nanotechnology. The company claims that apart from reusing plastics, the process of producing the nanotubes has virtually no carbon footprint and do not release toxic gases. BlueRen has recently joined the CleanEnviro Summit held in Singapore last September 2016.
Energy consumption optimised to the last watt
This India-based startup founded in 2013 provides IoT based products for energy monitoring and control. Zenatix has developed a systems that utilises sensors and smart energy meters to gather data and feed it to an analytics engine through a cloud server to generate alerts and control electrical devices based on the commands generated by the analytics engine. The company operates in the B2B space and is backed by angel investors and Blume Ventures.
Analyze your energy consumption. Reduce costs.
Cleverheat is company that creates alternative refrigeration systems driven by heat from the sun. Their service includes assessing refrigeration needs and recommending cost-saving alternatives, integration of renewable energy to bring down cost of refrigeration, and gathering and analysing data for monitoring and energy optimisation. The Philippine-based company has recently been selected to take part in Impact Hub’s fellowship program focusing on sustainable energy solutions.
Avant Garde Innovations
Powering a billion unpowered
Founded in 2013, Avant Garde Innovations has only officially started its operations in 2015 with the goal of providing alternative energy to reduce dependence on India’s state power grids. The company has produced highly affordable small wind turbines that can be used by and for residential, commercial, or agricultural structures and purposes.Claiming to be the world’s first startup committed to 100 percent renewable energt, Avant Garde Innovations is globally recognised and is in the United Nations’ clean energy list.
Make sense of energy consumption data
Founded in 2012, Intraix focuses on creating solutions to improve energy efficiency and bring down consumption costs. The company has built a range of products for various users – from large enterprises, to food and beverage companies, to residential homes – all revolving around energy consumption monitoring and reporting. In 2016, Intraix has introduced KLUG, a USB-sized incorporated with smart home technology that turns a WI-FI router into a smart-home hub.
Providing impactful social innovations that pave way for sustainable and enriched living conditions
Built by graduating students of Ateneo de Manila University, BMB Solutions is a community-driven company that developed the Big Mike Bike – a low-cost, modular, contraption that can do so many things. The bicycle can be fitted with various parts to be an electricity generator and storage, a water pump and filtration system, a shredder, a food processor, a laundry machine, and others. The company is currently part of The Spark Project’s startup community.
Eco2 Green Data Center
The Impossible Data Center: A reality
Eco2 Green Data Center, founded in Malaysia, manufactures green data center equipment. The company addresses the issue of environmentally-damaging data center technology by developing a coolant where IT equipment could be submerged, resulting to 50 percent energy cost reduction, 50 percent decrease in carbon emission, and 30 percent increase in server reliability and lifetime. Eco2 Green Data Center has recently won the Chairman’s Award at the Global ICT Excellence Awards 2016 and is currently expanding portfolio to Eco2 certified hardware.
Feature image credits: illustrator / 123RF Stock Photo