Gram Oorja works in all aspects of providing energy access to rural communities.
Gram Oorja believes that community scale renewable energy projects can be successfully sustained over a long period, even 25 years and above, if some factors are addressed initially.
This is true for most of our projects like micro-grids, pumping for domestic usage and irrigation,biogas for communities and even institutional systems.The approach is flexible. We follow whatever approach we feel will work for the specific communities. In some cases, where there is participative governance, we believe that the Village Energy Committee model is more appropriate. In slightly more mainstream communities, the entrepreneurship model could be more appropriate.
Man’s need for energy is continuously growing. At the same time, energy is all around us in abundant quantities. All that is required is the conversion of natural energy into forms that man can use. This requires an instrument. As Gram Oorja, we follow Lord Krishna’s exhortation to Arjun, as explained in the Bhagwad Gita: “Be only an instrument” निमित्तमात्रं भव.
Energy is an enabler.
We at Gram Oorja
- Identify sites based on partner requirements and community needs.
- Conduct comprehensive surveys and community engagement exercises to design systems based on needs and aspirations.
- Help attract appropriate financial support and install systems using high quality products.
- Support in maintenance of installed systems.
- Before undertaking a project, we perform surveys to understand community socio-economic conditions and determine immediate energy needs.
- We also assess a village’s ability and willingness to adopt new technology and devise mechanisms to easily transfer knowledge and build trust.
- Moreover, we encourage community participation in installation procedures as it helps in developing a feeling of accountability and ownership within the community.
- A local village committee is established to whom the system is entrusted upon completion. This committee manages operational and maintenance activities and resolves disputes.
- In some cases, a local village committee is established to whom the system is entrusted upon completion. This committee manages operational and maintenance activities and resolves disputes.
Design For Aspirations
- We design all of our systems keeping local aspirations and needs in mind, with the aim of supporting long term economic growth and livelihood generation within the communities.
- Microgrids accommodate productive loads and 24×7 lighting.
- Biogas cooking grids ensure an experience similar to LPG.
- Domestic solar water pumps make water available at a reasonable distance from home.
- Irrigation systems are sized taking into account the type of crop and land availability
- Solar water pumps make water available at a reasonable distance from home.
- In health centers and schools, quality of lighting and fans is similar to that of cities and includes powering computers.
- The systems can alter supply according to seasonal demand and ensure optimum resource utilization to minimize wastage.
- Designed systems are easy to operate and provide reliable and continuous supply. This speeds up adoption rate and enables communities to take full advantage of the facility.
Metering and Tariff Structure
- Intense community interactions result in a clear understanding of a community’s ability and willingness to pay metered bills. For Biogas and Solar Microgrids, metering of each household is carried out to discourage wastage and develop accountability.
- Tariff structures are developed to ensure long term sustainability of the system and pay for operation and maintenance costs.
- An initial installation charge is levied on every household to encourage a sense of ownership and support sustainability.
- We have seen that community ownership is essential to deliver inclusive, sustainable and scalable energy projects in remote communities and can help in adoption, continued utilization and maintenance.
- People in the community need to believe that the infrastructure is beneficial for them and that they are stakeholders in sustaining it.
- A village committee bank account is opened where monthly tariff collections and initial installation charges are deposited for future system expenses.
- The committee assigns a local operator to carry out the monthly collections and is free to customize collection systems based on village needs.