Administrator | September 26, 2016



BattiGhar partners with an entity with a prototype to take their prototype from lab to livelihood, and develops the - business model, brand, supply chain and financial linkages to enable last mile entrepreneurs to earn a livelihood. It also engages in identifying last mile entrepreneurs and their capacity building. The technology from the lab is chosen based on its ability to impact livelihoods and its ability to be powered by clean energy.

Incubated Since 2018 Headquarters Bhubaneswar, Odisha Sector Energy
Senior advisor Ananth Aravamudan

"Develop and transit energy efficient technologies from lab to livelihoods to create last mile entrepreneurs who will contribute to a climate positive economy.”
- Palak Aggarwal

The Entrepreneur

Palak Aggarwal was born and brought up in Delhi and her visits to Kalahandi region infamous for poverty, made her shift base in hope of channelizing her skills and knowledge for upliftment of the villages. During her stay with Kandha tribe in the forests of Kalahandi, she worked to design projects to deliver solar lights to last mile, trained local youth to repair solar lights and set up supply chain for spare parts. Quitting her job in end of year 2015, she briefly lived with San tribe in Kalahari desert and her stay in Kalahandi and Kalahari with different tribes made her believe in the intersection of technology, business development and finance as key to break the vicious cycle of poverty. She co-founded The BattiGhar Foundation, in early 2016 which works towards developing and innovating sustainable technologies for livelihoods. She founded BatiGhar Sustainable Solutions, a for-profit entity in 2018 to transit energy efficient technologies from lab to livelihoods to create last mile entrepreneurs who will contribute to a climate positive economy.

The Challenge

There are estimated 10 million street vendors in India, selling varied goods like clothes, hosiery, household goods, food items, juices etc. The technological needs of the vendors vary as per the good they sell. For example, a food cart would require not only lighting at it’s stall but also heating, cooling, and grinding etc which the vendor avails paying an exorbitant price or illegally hooks to get access to energy services or uses kerosene/diesel leading to pollution of environment.

In particular, street side cane juice vendors can be spotted almost in every urban centre in India. The vendors who sell sugarcane juice run their business generally on push carts which doesn’t allow them to use electricity to run their machines and to run these machines electricity would cost a lot, so they use diesel to run the machine which costs them INR 100-200 and each litre of diesel produces 2.64 kgs of Carbon emission. Each burning liter of diesel produces about 2.64 Kg of CO2. Assuming there are roughly 300 juice vendors in Bhubaneswar in business for at least six months every year, they are producing over 213840 Kgs of carbon in a given business year. According to studies, more than 50,000 vendors sell sugarcane juice using diesel motors in urban India and collectively emitting 2,37,60,000 kgs of CO2 every year (as per conservative assumptions that the businesses run for 180 days and burn 1 ltr diesel per day).

The problem is not only with the amount of diesel that is burnt in processing of sugarcane but also with how sugarcane is openly burnt and leads to further carbon emission.

The Innovation

SolarCane is an innovative sugarcane juice machine mounted on an electric vehicle which is powered by solar technology. The energy generated by the solar panel installed on roof of this cart is stored in the battery and the power required to run the vehicle, and also the sugarcane juice machine is drawn from the battery. This innovation is an alternative to diesel run sugar juice machines. The cart, SolarCane can run 25 kilometers in a day and the sugarcane juice machine can run upto 6 hours per day and in one hour 30 kilograms of sugarcane can be processed which is approximately 15 liters of juice.

SolarCane, has facility to run DC fan, charge mobile phone and run a juicer grinder which can make other fruit juices; sustaining the business beyond the sugarcane season. The cart is designed with hybrid facility to charge from grid in case of bad weather. The technology innovation is clean technology along with that is gender neutral and can be customized for other vending needs.

The Impact

• 80-100 sugarcane farmers are engaged in supplying sugarcane to 20 Carts
• At farm level 5-7 families are employed to engage in cleaning and storage of sugarcane
• Sugarcane farmer supplies to sugarcane mill receives Rs 2.75/kg. Farmer earns more than double his/her present income.
• 20 carts are saving 38000 kgs of carbon.

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