In this Good Practice Note, published by Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA) Argha Ghose and Ankur Singh discuss Oorja's evolution and how it has created significant social, economic and environmental impact by strengthening farmers’ livelihoods, reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainable agriculture.
BASE Foundation has launched a training manual for cold storage operators. Co-authored by Oorja along with Koel Fresh, CoolCrop and ColdHubs, the manual is a comprehensive and accessible guide that consolidates essential information for maintaining top-quality food standards.
Impact Performance Report: Irrigation Customer Satisfaction
60 Decibels conducted an external impact assessment to assess the satisfaction level of 277 Oonnati irrigation customers across 7 districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. The report covers various parameters to including usage, experience, consumer protection and impact.
60 Decibels conducted an external impact assessment to assess the satisfaction level of our Oonnati pump operators based in 7 districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. They conducted telephonic interviews with 28 such jobholders - 48 percent of whom have been working with Oorja for more than a year. The report covers various parameters to measure the impact of Oorja in their personal and professional lives.
Food waste has been a major issue in India due to the lack of cold storage facilities. As of 2022, an estimated 40% of the food produced in the country was wasted. This report studies the gap in the cold storage infrastructure and emerging solutions to address the issue. The report acknowledges the role of Oorja's Cooling-as-a-Service model in the strengthening the food systems through its cold storage infrastructure.
Ren 21 has acknowledged Oorja's CEO and Co-founder Amit Saraogi for his contrbutions to the Renewables 2023 Global Status Report: Economic and Social Value Creation. The report explores the wide range of benefitsthat renewable energy can offer beyond the supply of energy. From the job creation opportunities that breathe life into local economies, to building up local supply chains that foster a participatory society, the evidence in the report illustrates how energy, economic growth and social progress are not competing forces.
Ren 21 has acknowledged Oorja's CEO and Co-founder Amit Saraogi for his contrbutions to the Renewables 2023 Global Status Report: Energy Supply. The report delves into the intricacies of renewable energyprogress, examining the distribution of energy among carriers and addressing critical obstacles.
There is a rapid evolution of agtech startups involved in irrigation in India. We highlightkey emerging trends for these startups: transitions from hardware sales to softwaresales and services; bundling with other agricultural products and vertical integration;and varied partnerships to reduce customer acquisition costs. With increased globalfocus on the use of data to add value for irrigating farmers, we expect domestic andinternational growth opportunities for Indian startups that can leverage partnershipsto scale quickly.
Nearly half of India’s agriculture is irrigated, making it an ideal testbed for irrigated agtechbusiness models. We see an increasing number of entrepreneurial ventures seeking to make an impact in the agricultural water sector to support smallholders. However, little information exists about the irrigation business ecosystem, limiting the ability of entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to understand challenges and take full advantage of opportunities. In order to address this, we identified and mapped startups and other stakeholders within the ecosystem.
With ever-changing global climatic conditions and growing demand for sustainable food production, cold chain technologies are critical for improving food security, reducing food waste, enhancing farmers' livelihoods, and supporting adaptation to climate change. These technologies enable the safe and efficient transport, storage, and distribution of perishable goods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, fish, and meat. The report offers insights into current cold chain infrastructure, existing business models, market gaps, and potential interventions that can help meet the cooling needs of first-mile farmers and vendors across four value chains: Fresh Fruits & Vegetables (FFV), Meat, Dairy, and Fish Value Chains by 2030.
This report explores the immediate impact of the CatalyzeTech project supported by the SELCO Foundation and implemented by Oorja Development Solutions India Private Limited. The project, which was implemented in the Spring of 2022, aimed to train 500 smallholder and marginalised farmers in modern and sustainable agronomic practices to increase their agricultural productivity and subsequently income.
Nearly 75% of the economically active women in India are engaged in agriculture, out of which one-third are cultivators and around half are agricultural laborers. The agricultural sector in India contributes to 14% of the GDP and is an essential source of economic growth, employment, poverty reduction, and food security. Women farmers are involved at every stage of agriculture, from crop production to harvesting to management, and are involved in the production of 60-80% of India’s food, thus forming the economic backbone of the rural community.
Beath et al. (2021) , Renewable and Sustainable Energy Transition
Data from residential users of Oorja's solar micro-grid in Sarvantara, Bahraich district, Uttar Pradesh were used to build demand profiles of rural users. The study investigated the benefit in terms of emissions and cost reductions of incorporating health centres as 'anchor loads' within solar micro-grids in India. The modelling indicates integrating rural health centres to domestic mini-grids reduces unit cost and unit CO2 emissions intensity. At 95% of energy demand met, using solar PV and batteries, the unit cost reduces by 30% for smaller and 53% for larger health centres integrated.
Download full article
Chambon et al. (2020) , Renewable Energy
This paper presents a techno-economic feasibility case study of biomass gasification in off-grid and grid-connected mini-grids for community-scale energy application in rural Uttar Pradesh, India. Energy demand data was collected by Oorja through surveys in a village with irrigation and agro-processing loads and off-grid households. Solar PV was found to be a cheaper electricity source than biomass gasification. The findings held across grid-connected systems with weak, moderate and strong reliability of grid supply.
Sandwell et al. (2016) , Energy for Sustainable Development
In this paper, Oorja's founders teamed up with researchers to survey BoP rural households in Uttar Pradesh, India. The survey aimed to analyse access to and usage of modern and traditional energy sources. It found that a typical household with kerosene lamps only for lighting spends INR 3243 (US$50.67) and emits 381 kgCO2eq per year.
November 14, 2023 - Start Up Energy Transition
Let us look at the social impact start-up from India that is helping smallholders achieve more financial independence as well as lowering their carbon footprint. Read more here...
Affordable Solar Energy Sources for Low-Income Farmers
July 28, 2023 - AVPN
This case study explores how Oorja is making clean energy accessible to low-income and marginalised farmers through its affordable solar farming services. Read more here...
July 19, 2023 - AVPN
This case study focuses on Oorja’s Climate-Smart Farmer Advisory that provides training to smallholder farmers on modern and sustainable agronomic practices. Read more here...
June 20, 2023 - Start Up Energy Transition
Several studies suggest that female-led ventures show a robust commitment to social responsibility, surpassing their counterparts that lack women in founding teams. Read more here...
June 15, 2023 - Global Warming Mitigation Project
CEO Amit Saraogi and Senior Manager Ankur Singh answer some of the most pressing questions mobilizing young climate enthusiasts into the Climate Action workforce. Read more here...
May 30, 2023 - Energetica India
Clementine was featured in an interview focusing on Women Influencers in the May 2023 edition of the Energetica India Magazine. Read more here...
Oorja wins Mercom India's Best Off-grid Project Award for 2023
April 26, 2023 - Mercom Communications India
Mercom India announced the awards under eleven categories, recognizing the exceptional work helping drive the country forward in its energy transition.
Read more here...
Five insights into the future of social entrepreneurship
November 23, 2022 - Impact Alpha
As Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship celebrates 25 years of accelerating and accompanying social enterprises worldwide, we asked agents of impact to look ahead to the next 25 years and share their thoughts on the future of this sector.
Off-Grid Solar Market Trends Report 2022
Oct 17, 2022 - World Bank
This report aims to survey the outlook for the off-grid solar market and interventions needed for the sector to achieve its full potential impact.
How Can Impact Measurement Benefit Social Enterprises?
Oct 11, 2022 - SoPact
Oorja partnered with Sopact through the Miller Center in order to measure and manage their social impact.
Shining bright: India's solar startups
Sept 30, 2022 - Saur Energy International
For India’s solar energy sector, across the chain of generation, distribution and last mile work, hundreds of startups have taken birth.Read more here...
MANAGE Samunnati Agri-startup Awards 2022 Celebrated Agri Startups Serving the Farming Community
Sept 15, 2022 - Krishi Jagran
These startups will be supported by MANAGE and Samunnati beyond awards and recognition. An investment meet is planned for the startups.
MANAGE, Samunnati present awards to 32 agri start-ups
Sept 15, 2022 - The Hindu Business Line
Preeti Kumari accepts the National Level Award
Sept 15, 2022 - Samunnati
Preeti Kumari, Project Associate at Oorja, accepts the MANAGE-Samunnati 2022 Agri-Startup National Award.
Watch it here...
A Sustainable Solution for Post-Harvest Management in India
Aug 6, 2022 - Energy Review Newsletter
Oorja Development Solutions piloted a decentralized cold storage unit in Muzaffarpur district, Bihar (India) on a “Cooling-as-a-Service” business model where smallholder farmers can store their produce on a pay-per-use basis without any upfront cost for technology acquisition.
REN21: Global Status Report
Jul 29, 2022 - REN 21
Our versatile CEO, Amit Saraogi has been acknowledged for his valuable contribution to Renewables 2022 Global Status Report. REN21 is the only global community of renewable energy actors from science, academia, governments, non-governmental organizations, and industry across all renewable energy sectors.
MC Challenge Convention: Advancing climate change solutions on a global scale
Jul 27, 2022 - Mass Challenge Convention
Dr. Clementine Chambon shared some insightful discussion featuring cutting edge of business, technology and social impact about climate tech industry.
Fighting food waste, economic insecurity, and climate change through virtual cold chain application
June 30, 2022 - data.org
Pilot projects were launched in India in partnership with three local cooling companies, and the efforts are already being expanded to Nigeria, with plans to expand to yet further geographies and to new sustainable agriculture technologies. The mobile app was tested on the fields with end-users and feedback was integrated into the development roadmap.Read more here...
Two Indian Agri-energy Organisations Make It To Shortlist For Ashden Awards
May 30, 2022 - Saur Energy
They both are part of a new wave of innovation showing how clean energy can power up entrepreneurship
Global trailblazers offset inclusive off-grid solutions
May 27, 2022 - Saur Energy
The shortlists for the annual Ashden Awards highlight a new crop of grassroots renewable energy solutions
A sustainable solution for post-harvest management in India
May 22, 2022 - Energy Review Newsletter
Oorja's Project Associate, Preeti Kumari wrote an article for the latest issue of Energy Review. The article highlights the requirement to scale low-cost, decentralized small capacity refrigeration units Read more here...
Making Sustainable Cooling in India Affordable
May 13, 2022 - CEEW
The CEEW report captures a case study on Oorja's pioneered "Cooling-as-a-Service" business model to provide decentralized cold storage solution "Oonnayan" to smallholder farmers for storing perishable produce.
Clean energy raising incomes for the world’s most marginalised people
May 16, 2022 - Ashden
A new wave of innovation shows how clean energy can power up entrepreneurship and inclusive development across low-income nations, creating opportunities even in the most marginalised communities.
The Ashden Awards 2022: International Shortlist
The annual Ashden Awards focus on cutting-edge initiatives that are both green and fair – that deliver climate justice, create good jobs, train people in green skills, and cut carbon.
See the shortlist here...
Local energy and climate innovators shortlisted for Ashden Awards
May 16, 2022 - ESI Africa
Eight African climate innovators from low carbon enterprises are among 11 organisations from across the world showing how clean energy can power up entrepreneurship and inclusive development.
African clean energy trailblazers lead the way at Kigali energy conference
May 16, 2022 - Farmers Review Africa
An impressive new wave of climate innovators are revealed today at the Humanitarian Energy Conference (HEC) 2022, ahead of the opening of the Sustainable Energy for All Forum this week in Kigali, Rwanda.
Feb 15, 2022 - Deloitte USA
Delloite's D2i Fellowship Team partnered with Oorja to streamline and formalize its internal process, develop a clear and focused growth strategy.
Feb 15, 2022 - CLEAN
The paper has highlighted the gender mainstreaming plan and the successful fundraising of Oorja.
What’s new since the SEIF Awards?
Feb 8, 2022 - SEIF
At SEIF, we are always excited to hear from entrepreneurs after their participation in the Tech for Impact Awards. Today, we give the word to Clémentine Chambon, CTO & Co-Founder at Oorja, who was granted the Awards for Scalable Solution from SEIF in 2021.
Is the Union Budget 2022-23 renewable energy friendly?
Feb 7, 2022 - Down to Earth
Preeti Kumari, DRE Project Associate of Oorja Development Solutions, a Delhi-based off-grid solar services provider, comments on the 2022-23 Union Budget’s financial assistance to border villages to establish decentralised RE projects under the Vibrant Village Programme.
Implementing Solar Irrigation Sustainably: A Guidebook for State Policymakers
Dec 15, 2021 - International Institute for Sustainable Development
Oorja's CTO Dr. Clementine Chambon has provided valuable inputs to the guidebook for state policy makers on maximizing the social and environmental benefits from solar pump schemes. Oorja's pay-per-use model has also been featured as an alternative pump ownership model.
How to raise capital?
Dec 3, 2021 - Good Food
Clementine Chambon recently raised $1million for her company Oorja Solutions. She kindly joined our "Huddle for Foodies" to share her rich and practical insights on raising capital for purpose-driven food start-ups.
Watch the video here...
Read the summary article here...
Oorja share their WE4F experience
Nov 5, 2021 - Water & Energy for Food Grand Challenge
Preeti Kumari, Oorja’s Project Associate, shares the company’s experience as one of the #WE4FAsiaRIH innovators.
Boosting Net Zero Emissions – Beyond Solar & Wind Energy
Nov 3, 2021 - Construction Week India
Our CTO Clementine joins in this panel discussion about the strategies India could pursue in the energy sector in its transition towards net zero emissions.
Oorja among Access to Energy shortlist for 2021 EI Awards
October 20, 2021 - Energy Institute
Excited to announce our 2021 Access to Energy shortlisters for the EI Awards: Earth Sparks International, Khethworks, KOKO Networks, Oorja Development Solutions Limited, and South Asian Forum For Environment!
Oorja Raises $1 Million in Seed Funding for Agri Solar Solutions
October 12, 2021 - Mercom India
The company aims to deploy 121 solar projects, impacting 6,000 low-income households
FaaS Firm Oorja Secures $1 million in Seed Funding For Its Clean Energy Solutions
October 12, 2021 - Saur Energy International
Oorja, a firm that describes itself as a Farming as a Service (FaaS) operating to connect agriculture and clean energy, has completed a US $1 million (Rs 7.5 crores) Seed funding round.
Oorja secures $1 million in seed funding
October 12, 2021 - PV Magazine
The decentralized solar solutions provider shall use the amount to scale up its pay-per-use, solar-powered irrigation, milling, and cooling projects for farmers and to expand its operations.
Grit and Determination: Rita Devi’s Journey from Homemaker to Oorja's Decentralised Cold Storage Operator
September 30, 2021 - Cisco Agri Challenge / The Nudge Foundation
Rita Devi always aspired to have a better life for the family and quality education for her children.
Oorja is a Sankalp Global Awards Finalist 2021
September 27, 2021 - Sankalp Forum
The 2021 edition of Sankalp Global Awards celebrates social entrepreneurs who are mainstreaming impact, are making a positive impact on society, gaining hands-on experience and networking with a global community. We are delighted to have Oorja as one of the Sankalp Global Awards finalists for 2021.
Agtech is our best bet for a sustainable and inclusive agrarian economy
September 4, 2021 - Gaon Connection
What will agriculture in India look like in 2030? Will we finally be able to make farming profitable for all of India’s 130 million farmers? Or will the vast majority of small and marginal farmers continue to be left behind? The key to these answers lies in the growth of Agtech.
Oorja and BASE join forces to pilot and implement virtual cold chain assistant
July 29, 2021 - BASE
Your Virtual Cold Chain Assistant (YVCCA) is an open source, data driven tool being developed by BASE that aims to provide smallholder farmers access to cold storage through the pay-per-use servitisation model. YVCCA will equip farmers with pre- and post-harvest expertise and market intelligence to secure the best possible price for their produce. Oorja has partnered with BASE as a local implementing partner of the YVCCA solution.
Watch the video showcasing the 50 winners of the UN Best Small Business Competition
July 28, 2021 - United Nations
The UN Best Small Business competition, received 1,781 applicants. Following deliberations, 50 inspiring, diverse and impactful winners were selected, all of whom are working to improve access to healthy, sustainable and equitable food. Check out the winner profiles on the UN Community Page and on the VC4A website.
Watch the video
3 India-based enterprises among UN Best Small Business winners
July 28, 2021 - The Tribune
Fifty small and medium-sized enterprises around the world have been announced as the Best Small Businesses of the ‘Good Food for All’ competition, held in conjunction with the UN Food Systems Summit.
Inclusive pay-per-use farming services model forsmallholders
July 7, 2021 - CLEAN
Over 100 million farmers in India rely on 9 million operationally expensive and polluting diesel-powered pumps for irrigation. They face volatile fuel prices, low pump efficiency, and frequent engine breakdown, amounting to high irrigation costs of INR 6,000-8,000 per acre per year. Diesel surface pumps often cannot draw water during the dry season (March to June).
Ask an Expert: Amit Saraogi
June 28, 2021 - CLEAN
How can we promote productive uses of decentralised renewable energy among BoP rural consumers? Hear from our stellar CEO Amit Saraogi on the challenges we face and how we convince farmers to adopt solar-powered agricultural services, via CLEAN's #askanexpert series.
REN21: Renewables Global Status Report
June 15, 2021 - REN21
Our CEO, Amit Saraogi, is a contributor to the world’s only crowd-sourced report on renewable energy, the Renewable 2021 Global Status Report (GSR). It covers policies, markets, and much more, while telling the most up-to-date global story on renewable energy.
Solar-powered cold storage as a service
June 7, 2021 - PV Magazine
Small and marginal farmers in the Muzaffarpur district of Bihar are making productive use of solar energy to reduce their losses and increase income, thanks to an innovative pay-per-use cooling service for perishable horticulture produce.
Meet the 10 Finalists for the SEIF Tech Awards for Impact
May 17, 2021 - SEIF
The 10 finalists for the SEIF Awards 2021 Tech for Impact have been selected! Learn more about who they are and how their solution contributes to creating positive change below.
Earth Day Network Profile: Oorja Development Solutions
May 7, 2021 - Earth Day Network
Earth Day Network-India congratulates Oorja Development Solutions Limited, the Clean Energy Star for April 2021. Oorja is a Farming-as-a-Service (FaaS) company that finances, installs, operates and maintains distributed solar energy systems for productive use in the agricultural sector.
नेउरा में सब्जी भंडारण के लिए खुला कोल्ड स्टोरेज (Cold storage open for vegetable storage in Neura)
March 21, 2021 - Prabhat Khabar
Oonnati demo: Showcasing the impact of solar irrigation among marginal farmers
March 8, 2021 - Cisco
Demo video for Oorja's Oonnati solar irrigation service in both English and Hindi.
The women leading the way in the European cleantech industry
March 8, 2021 - Life Size Media
In honour of International Women’s Day 2021, we’re celebrating the inspiring women who are pioneering clean technology and leading their businesses to success while contributing to a more sustainable future.
Cisco Global Problem Solver Challenge winner Oorja is making a difference for farmers in India
February 1, 2021 - Cisco
In rural India, 70 percent of people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Discover how the Cisco Global Solver Challenge 2019 Grand prize winner, Oorja, makes solar energy accessible to farmers in India.Watch it here...
Providing Clean Energy Solutions to India’s Bottom of the Pyramid Population
December 22, 2020 - University of New Hampshire
This case was examined as part of the Social Sector Franchise Initiative, a collaborative undertaking at the University of New Hampshire.
गांव में शीतगृह खोलने,सोलर सिंचाई प्रणाली और आटा चक्की लगाने की किसानों को दी जानकारी (Farmers informed about opening of cold storage, solar pumps and mills in village)
December 11, 2020 - Dainik Bhaskar
A meeting was held to improve storage of vegetables at the village level, wherein farmers were provided some important information about installation of solar projects.
Read more here... [in Hindi]
खेमाइपट्टी में सब्जी के भंडारण को खुलेगा शीतगृह (Cold storage for vegetables to open in Khemaipatti)
Dec 5, 2020 - Prabhat Khabar
Delhi team reaches Bihar village Khemaipatti to explore storage of farmers' mushroom and vegetables
Read more here.. [in Hindi]
Founded by Young Entrepreneurs, Oorja Brings Affordable Clean Energy to Smallholder Farmers
Nov 24, 2020 - TriplePundit
Founded by young entrepreneurs, Oorja provides solar-powered water pumps that allow smallholder farmers to transition away from using diesel for irrigation.
Laureate Spotlight: Oorja Development Solutions
Nov 12, 2020 - Global Warming Mitigation Project
"It’s a no-brainer for farmers to move to solar,” says Clementine Chambon, Oorja’s CTO. In summer of 2020, Oorja was awarded a $25,000 Keeling Curve Prize in the Energy category."
People before profit
Oct 16, 2020 - Down to Earth
A Delhi-based clean energy services firm provides solar power and irrigation facility, with flexible payment option, to returning informal workers in Uttar Pradesh.
Local lifeline: Communities rely on DRE to get through the Covid-19 crisis
Sept 22, 2020 - Renewable Watch
The decentralised renewable energy (DRE) segment is instrumental to advancing energy access in rural India. In these difficult times, we have shining examples of DRE enterprises standing tall to serve communities. A look at some of these enterprises members of CLEAN making a positive impact in rural areas of the country.
2020 Keeling Curve Prize winners announced during virtual awards ceremony
July 28, 2020 - Aspen Times
The 10 winners of the 2020 Keeling Curve Prize, an Aspen-based program that awards money annually to innovative global warming mitigation projects, were announced during a virtual awards ceremony Monday evening.
REN21's Global Status Report 2020 mentions Oorja's unique business model of PAYG solar irrigation services
June 17, 2020 - REN21
Our CEO Amit Saraogi was recognized as one of the contributors in REN21's Global Status Report 2020 which mentions Oorja's unique business model of PAYG solar irrigation services for small and marginal farmers.Read it here...
Covid-19 calls for renewed focus on sustainable solutions
June 4, 2020 - India Inc.
Althea runner-up Clementine talks about coming up with new ideas and the need for business and academia to work together.
May 18, 2020 - Imperial College London
Here we meet some of Imperial’s entrepreneurial women who are at the forefront of creating a low carbon economy.
On International Women’s Day, meet five women who want to change the world
Mar 5, 2020 - Cisco
From Cisco Community Hero leaders to Global Citizen Youth Leadership Award winners, here are five women who are making a positive impact in the world.Read more here...
Techno-economic assessment of biomass gasification-based mini-grids for productive energy applications: The case of rural India
March 3, 2020 - Renewable Energy (Elsevier)
Data from Oorja's team in U.P. contributed to this research publication which recently appeared in Renewable Energy journal. It compares the cost and CO2 emissions from solar PV, biomass gasification and diesel generation in mini-grids for productive energy use in rural India.
Solar Projects are Helping Generate Income, Create Jobs and New Skills in Rural Areas
Jan 14, 2020 - Mercom India
Socio-economic development, an incidental contribution of the solar sector.
Meet the Global Problem Solver: Oorja
Nov 26, 2019 - Cisco
Providing a scalable and sustainable community-based solution to the irrigation crisis in India.
Partners can join Cisco in supporting global problem solvers using tech for good
Nov 5, 2019 - Cisco
Today we are inviting Cisco partners to join us in supporting entrepreneurs who are using technology to address some of our world’s problems.
Oonnati - Community solar pumping services for marginal farmers
Nov 4, 2019 - CSRBOX
CSRBOX is India’s largest CSR impact-intelligence and partnerships platform, aimed at bridging the gap between social enterprises, innovators, product suppliers and the corporate. The platform showcases various products related to Education, Health, Sanitation, Solar, Energy etc. which could be useful in CSR projects and can be procured by companies.Read more here...
The Next Big Thing for Energy Access in India? Service-Based Models for Productive-Use Appliances in Agriculture
Sept 24, 2019 - NextBillion
The agriculture sector is a major source of livelihood in India, providing income to more than half of the total workforce. However, it lacks the reliable energy sources it needs to act as a motor for poverty alleviation. This post is part of the NextBillion Series “New Frontiers in Renewable Energy” that explores the dynamic changes reshaping the sector.
CSR: Tech Start-ups That are Solving India’s Problems
August 28, 2019 - The CSR Journal
With the growing importance of CSR and participation on India Inc in national development, an urge to participate in the drive of solving India’s problems is growing. This claim is substantiated by the following tech start-ups that are aimed at solving the problems of the country.
Food Safety to Disease Diagnosis: 8 Tech Startups Solving India’s Biggest Problems
August 27, 2019 - The Better India
Be it in a hospital or a college canteen, ideas for path-breaking innovations can strike you anywhere, at anytime. The win is in recognizing and following them through, as these individuals did to become changemakers of our society. These 8 tech startups are solving India's biggest problems.Read more here...