Google has announced that its data centres and offices which house 60,000 employees will be run by renewable energy by 2017. It is already the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy.

“We are convinced this is good for business, this is not about greenwashing. This is about locking in prices for us in the long term. Increasingly, renewable energy is the lowest cost option,” said Marc Oman, EU energy lead at Google.

We hope other companies will follow suit and the renewable energy movement will get renewed energy. India is certainly pushing ahead with its renewable energy goals. As part of the Paris Agreement, it pledged that the country would be 40 per cent run by non-fossil fuels by 2030.

Here is a list of women who are heading renewable energy projects in India:

1. Prema Gopalan

She is the co-founder of Swayam Shikshan Prayog, a non-profit which won the United Nations climate award this year. The organisation trains women in villages of Maharashtra and Bihar to become renewable energy entrepreneurs. Through the program, more than 1,010 women have set up businesses in which they sell solar appliances to rural households.

“In the year 2005-06, recognising the need for clean cooking and drudgery reducing options for rural women, SSP — in association with Bharat Petroleum — created a clean fuel cooking stove and a grassroots business model built on the strength of the existing women’s SHG network” she told India Climate Dialogue.

2. Ajaita Shah 

American Indian Ajaita Shah moved to India to set up her solar product distribution company, Frontier Markets, to bring clean energy to Rajasthan. The company sells low-cost solar products in India and has set up around 225 retail outlets thus far. Shah has been featured in Forbes Top 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs. The company has sold around 20,000 products thus far and is targeting 50 million households in the next five years.

3.  Rashneh Pardiwala

Recipient of the Ashoka Fellowship, Rashneh Pardiwala, is the founder of CERE (Centre for Environmental Research and Education). The organisation has created an outdoor solar-powered-lighting installation for Tata Capital, has started a carbon mapping initiative for companies such as IndusInd Bank, and is piloting its ‘Schools for Solar’ project, wherein it will assist schools to generate electricity through simple rooftop solar installations.

4. Solar Entrepreneurs from the Indian Barefoot College

Barefoot College, located in rural Rajasthan, teaches women of all ages (some are even grandmothers) solar engineering.The college, which is spread over 8 acres, runs entirely on solar energy. Since the course was launched, around 300 women have brought power to more than 13,000 homes in India. The model has been copied in more than 24 countries.

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