Oorja is an energy services company in the business of replacing diesel engines with affordable, reliable solar energy systems for productive power in rural markets. Their first service, Oonnati, provides irrigation water on pay-per-use basis to smallholder farmers.
Incubated Since 2018 Headquarters New Delhi Sector Renewable Energy Sub-sector Agriculture
Senior advisor Ananth Aravamudan
"Replacing diesel engines, using energy as a catalyst for economic development and creation of jobs, and combating climate change – these are the three core elements of our mission.”
– Amit Saraogi
Oorja was founded in 2016 by Amit Saraogi and Clementine Chambon during a climate change entrepreneurship workshop. Amit Saraogi have 15 years of diverse global experience in banking, consulting and development practice. His passion for empowering the marginalised in society led him to complete a Master’s in International Development at Columbia University and gain a professional certificate in social entrepreneurship. Amit is an Echoing Green Climate Fellow and one among the SE100 list of the most Inspiring Social Entrepreneurs. Dr Clementine Chambon obtained a PhD in bioenergy from Imperial College London and have worked as a renewable energy consultant. She is a chemical engineer by training and is determined to leverage her engineering background to design and deploy cost-effective, appropriate solar solutions. Clementine is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur and was named as Social Innovator of the Year by MIT Technology Review Europe.
Across India, over 10 million diesel pumps are used for irrigation, a huge operational expense for farmers. An estimated 10,000 MW of small diesel generators are used for backup power in grid-connected areas or to cover daily loads in small industries, such as agro processing mills. This problem persists even in grid-connected areas and results in immense CO2 and black carbon emissions. There is a need for affordable, reliable energy sources to help marginal farmers and small business owners sustainably transition from diesel to low-carbon energy sources, such as solar.
Oorja designs, installs and operates solar energy systems to replace diesel engines used in farms and in small rural businesses along with the agricultural value chain. They aim to become the leading developer of solar energy systems to power livelihoods in emerging markets. Oorja’s first innovation is Oonnati, a pay-per-use irrigation service that is 20% cheaper than diesel pumping and provides year-round water for marginal farmers. Oorja also deploys mini-grids providing uninterrupted AC electricity to small businesses such as grain and oilseed mills.
Oorja’s impact objectives are threefold:
• Reduce expenses on diesel and kerosene fuels in favour of clean energy
• Increase productivity and income among farmers and small businesses
• Mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels
Oorja presently operates in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Find out about Oorja’s impact to date on our live impact dashboard here: http://www.oorjasolutions.org/#7