Oorja Development Solutions India Private Limited (Oorja) has raised EUR 275,000 in the form of a convertible grant from the DOEN Foundation under their Sustainable Energy program. This investment will enable the company to expand operations in existing and new markets in northern India to reach more than 600 marginal farmers with clean energy services in 2020.
Oorja will use the funding not only to scale up “Oonnati” – its pioneering pay-as-you-go (PAYG) community solar irrigation service – but also to launch two new integrated services of solar-powered agroprocessing called “Oojjwal” and pay-as-you-store solar cold storage called “Oonnayan” in rural markets. This funding will allow Oorja to double down its efforts and deepen its impact.
“We are thrilled as this investment has given us the necessary capital to further demonstrate the viability of the PAYG solar irrigation model and the immense impact it can have in increasing agricultural productivity and farmer income while saving significant carbon emissions," said Amit Saraogi, CEO of Oorja. "It will also allow us to introduce a new PAYG refrigeration service for farmers, helping reduce wastage of their perishable produce and fetching them higher prices."
Maarten Derksen, program manager at DOEN Foundation, said "To combat climate change, reducing CO2 emissions is crucial. The smart energy solutions of Oorja are a great way to do this. They use the power of the sun to replace diesel, and provide clean, reliable and affordable energy for the people who need it the most."
Oorja is a purpose-driven social enterprise working at the intersection of sustainable energy and livelihoods in the agricultural value chain. Its vision is to create economic opportunity, improve standard of living and combat climate change in rural agrarian communities. It does this by providing access to clean, reliable and affordable energy for productive use to power income-generating appliances. Oorja’s service models were developed to help marginal farmers and economically disadvantaged consumers transition from diesel fuel to modern energy. It finances and installs community-scale solar energy systems so there is no upfront technology cost barrier and sells irrigation and other allied agricultural services.
Oorja’s current project portfolio consists of 36.7 kWp of solar assets serving approximately 1,100 consumers in eastern Uttar Pradesh and western Assam, India. Oorja is also supported and backed by Cisco CSR, Echoing Green, Villgro, MassChallenge, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Royal Academy of Engineering and Climate-KIC.
About DOEN Foundation
The DOEN Foundation (Stichting DOEN) believes a green, socially-inclusive and creative world is possible. DOEN finances pioneers who use an entrepreneurial approach to come up with solutions for a better world. The DOEN Foundation was established by the Dutch Postcode Lottery and receives an annual contribution from the three Dutch Charity Lotteries. For more information, please go to www.doen.nl/en