Minister Pitches for Policy Framework to Promote Solar Energy in Dairies

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GRID-connected solar pumps will not only ensure free water for farmers but also help them earn additional income by selling surplus energy

Recently at a workshop organised by the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in New Delhi Raj Kumar Singh,Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy has stressed on the need for creating a policy to further propagating the use of solar energy in the dairy cooperative network for the benefit of farmers. He said that extensive use of solar energy in dairy value chain can significantly reduce operational cost and promote use of clean energy.GRID-connected solar pumps will not only ensure free water for farmers but will also help them earn additional income by selling surplus energy.

Dairy cooperative network

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The entire dairy chain from village-level milk pooling to product delivery is energy intensive. The dairy network has around 1.65 lakh village-level dairy cooperatives, 218 district/ regional/taluk unions and 24 state dairy federations. About 15 million milk producers are affiliated with this network.

As at March-end 2018 the network maintains 72 million litres per day (MLPD) of processing capacity, 18 MLPD of chilling capacity and 38 MLPD of village-level milk cooling capacity.

According to NDDB Chairman Dilip Rath, the Board has started application of Concentrated Solar Thermal Technology (CST) in dairy processing plants to partly address the need of thermal energy in dairy cooperatives.The 15 CSTs have already been installed in dairy cooperatives in four states -Maharashtra, Punjab, Gujarat and Karnataka with the help of capital subsidy support from the Centre and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

CST can reduce the annual heat demand of the processing plant from 5 to 15 per cent.

Solar energy-run village cooperatives

NDDB has also started propagating solar energy-run village cooperatives across the country after successful experiment of installing GRID-connected Solar PV systems with storage (if required) in village-level dairy cooperatives or milk collection centres.

The workshop highlighted solar energy as income source for dairy farmers.

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