Solar Cold Storage: Green Energy Can Reduce Crop Wastage

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Government subsidies

The government of India is providing subsidies under various schemes for solar storage investment. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has extended subsidies for the same. For instance, a document by MNRE proposes that a plan for solar cold storage having a capacity of five to six tonnes and 4kWp solar panels, which can cost ₹ 900,000, will be eligible for a subsidy amount of ₹ 585,000.

The administration is actively promoting solar-driven applications in rural areas through such perks. Yet, some challenges exist that need to be addressed. “Subsidies are available, but most schemes require the farmers to pay full at first and then get the return based on application,” says Bheke.

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Case studies

India is going strong with many solar cold storage installations in recent years. For example, MNRE shared a recent project at Bhopal, where an eight-tonne capacity solar storage with 20kWp solar panels and lead-acid batteries was installed. The complete installation had cost ₹ 2 million. The installation cut down operational expenses by 28 per cent, while saving 16,500kWh electricity and ₹ 115,000 per year. It improved crop shelf-life by up to 21 days. While the calculated ROI period is about nine years, the benefits have already started to come in with consistent payback.

Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, also saw its first successful launch of solar storage in 2015. Installed by Statcon Energiaa for Shree Cold Storage, the solution replaced the existing electricity-driven setup. It saves 700 units of electricity per day, culminating into ₹ 150,000 per month.

With all the initiatives in motion, a little more push by the government and higher participation from industry players can transform solar cold storages into a big boon for India.

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