Last week I had a chat with Clementine Chambon and Amit Saraogi. They are co-founders of Oorja, an interesting social good startup that has dual goals of providing access to clean energy to rural households while facilitating their socio-economic development through micro entrepreneurship. They will be commissioning a prototype power plant that generates electricity through agricultural waste in the hinterlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh in the 1st week of June 2017.
In this Live Hangout, I tried to understand the problem they are tying to solve through Oorja, asked them about their experiences from the field, their operational model and their vision for Oorja. If you are a keen follower of future of clean energy, micro-grids and decentralized renewable systems for power generation, please take a careful listen.
Some titbits from the Hangout:
Our mission is to combat climate change
Challenges around rural development and energy access are intertwined
Amit and I met about 2 1/2 years ago when we were both doing climate entrepreneurship workshop in Europe
We started with the idea that we will use agricultural waste to generate and transmit electricity
We are working in very rigid sociocultural environment
We as Oorja would not only be a sort of project developer but we would also be responsible for training the employees of this power plant
We will have a lot of on-field partners from NGOs, civil society organizations, the panchayat members, the pradhan of the village..
The policy and regulatory environment is not very clear.There are conflicting policies from the state govt and the central govt
We would like clean energy to become a large part of the energy mix for India
Here’s the full Hangout: