Improve access to clean energy for off-grid households and increase crop yields for small-holding farmers in rural India by building and deploying decentralized waste-to-energy plants that sequester carbon through a microfranchise model.
Oorja’s vision is to create economic opportunity, improve standards of living, and combat the climate emergency in rural agrarian communities. It provides integrated clean energy solutions for productive use to power income-generating appliances and replace diesel engines and motors along the agro-industrial value chain in off-grid and severely under-electrified BoP communities in rural India. It engineers, finances, installs, operates, and maintains decentralized energy systems and provides reliable and affordable pay-as-you-go solar irrigation, refrigeration, and agro-processing services to smallholder farmers and small businesses. There is no upfront cost barrier to end users, and they are able to access the three services year-round on demand, allowing them to intensify and diversify their crops, reduce wastage of perishable produce, and process their harvest. This helps increase their productivity and income and expand livelihood opportunities in their community, while saving significant greenhouse gas emissions. Oorja’s impact objectives are threefold: Reduce expenses on fossil fuels in favor of clean energy, increase productivity and income among smallholder farmers and small businesses, and mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from diesel motors.
Clementine Chambon is co-founder and CTO of Oorja, a company dedicated to helping marginal farmers transition from diesel to affordable and reliable solar power. While working on a PhD in bioenergy at Imperial College London, Clementine undertook extensive fieldwork in rural India. This sparked Oorja’s mission to expand access to renewable technologies to support rural livelihoods, promote sustainable agriculture, and address the climate emergency. Her PhD also equipped her with expertise in cost-effective design of distributed energy systems from an engineering, economic, and socio-cultural perspective. Clementine has worked as a renewable energy consultant to New Climate Economy, the European Commission, and the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. She has strong communication skills in six languages, including French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, and Hindi. Clementine was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur and MIT Tech Review Social Innovator of the Year Europe for her work. She holds an M.Eng. in chemical engineering from the University of Cambridge. Clementine is a 2015 Echoing Green Fellow.
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