Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Govt of India inaugurated NDDB’s workshop titled “Solar – A Green Energy Alternate to Augment Dairy Farmers’ Income” at the SCOPE Convention Centre, New Delhi on 9 January, 2019. Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE, Govt of India; Deepak Gupta, former Secretary, MNRE, Govt of India & Honorary Director General, National Solar Energy Federation of India (NSEFI); Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Dilip Rath, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) graced the occasion.
Officials from MNRE, NITI Aayog, NDDB & its subsidiaries; MDs/CEOs of select dairy cooperatives/producer companies; industry representatives from Tata Power, InfiCold, NISE; representatives from donor agencies like World Bank, SDC and KFW; officials from research & consultancy firms like KPMG, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), GIZ, IIT, Bombay; representatives from electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) like Mahavitaran, Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL), Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (APEPDCL) and Industry representative bodies like NSEFI, Solar Thermal Federation of India (STFI) participated in the workshop.
In his inaugural address, the Hon’ble Union Minister said that the entire dairy value chain from village level milk pooling points to product delivery is energy intensive. Extensive use of solar energy in dairy value chain can significantly reduce operational cost and ensure usage of clean energy. Shri Raj Kumar Singh said that NDDB with its mandate of promoting cooperative strategy has played a pivotal role in creating a pan India network of dairy cooperatives.
He further mentioned that the dairy network now has around 1.65 lakh village level dairy cooperatives, 218 district/regional/taluka unions and 24 State Dairy Federations/Apex Milk Unions. Around 15 million milk producers are affiliated to this network. As on March 2018, the network maintains 72 MLPD of processing capacity, 18 MLPD of chilling capacity and 38 MLPD of village level bulk milk cooling capacity. The Union Minister stressed on the need of creating an enabling policy framework to further propagate usage of solar energy utilising the dairy cooperative network for the benefits of farmers.
He conveyed that the Union Govt is promoting solar pumps to ensure usage of clean energy and at the same time reduce the agricultural subsidy burden. GRID connected solar pumps is an alternative which while ensuring water for free to farmers will help them earn additional income through selling surplus energy.
In his welcome address, Shri Dilip Rath, Chairman, NDDB said that NDDB has started application of Concentrated Solar Thermal technology in dairy processing plants to partly address the need of thermal energy in dairy cooperatives. CST can reduce the annual heat demand of the processing plant from 5 to 15%. With the help of capital subsidy support from MNRE and UNDP, NDDB have completed 15 CST installations in processing plants of dairy cooperatives across four states of Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka. The total installed collector area at these locations is around 8,000 m 2 of aperture area.
With successful experimentation of installing GRID connected solar PV systems with storage (if required) in village level dairy cooperatives/milk collection centres, NDDB has started propagation of solar energy run village cooperatives across the country. Support under National Dairy Plan I was also provided to 125 such installations across 18 states and results have been encouraging. A uniform policy framework with suitable grant support can help solarise entire village level dairy operations, which would reduce energy cost and contribute significantly to environment protection.
Shri Rath informed that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India inaugurated NDDB-promoted Saur Urja Utpadak Sahakari Mandli Ltd at Mujkuva village near Anand in Gujarat on 30 September 2018. 11 farmers have surrendered their access to the state subsidised electricity and opted for solar energy and supplying surplus energy to GRID.
The workshop highlighted solar energy as income source for dairy farmers. DISCOMs shared their initiatives and promoted the concept of solar as a remunerative crop. IIT, STFI, GIZ, National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Rajasthan Electronics and Instrumentation Limited (REIL) and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) shared their experiences in application of solar in dairy value chain especially the Concentrated Solar Thermal (CST), industrial heating, bulk cooling and milk collection systems.