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FEW things in life matters most: Food + Energy + Water

The FEW nexus is the intersection of food, energy, and water. Three interdependent components that together are the vital for life on the Earth. By 2025, there will be nine billion people on Earth. Unless we are able to thoroughly understand the connection between all three, global efforts to meet the needs of people will face unprecedented challenges.

Voltaics Alpha works on the juncture of the FEW which affects everybody, from government, to industry, to academia, to citizens across places. Using agrivoltaics we can ensure food, water and energy security. The solar plants are installed about 3.5 metre above the ground level, which generates solar energy, enables crop production, and helps in water conservation. Such installation provides a unique growing environment:

- Cooler in the Summer and Warmer in the Winter

- Less wind and higher soil moisture

- solar panels operate more efficiently with crops underneath

Organisations can procure low-cost solar energy and the CSR and ESG goals can help in keeping agricultural lands in production & maintaining access to sustainable and nutritious food. Supplying the demand for a growing renewable energy demand. Reducing water consumption, maintaining clean water access, and providing local irrigation support for a growing population.

The agricultural land in India is little more than 50 per cent of the total geographical area in the country. This is the highest share of land in any country in the world. Voltaics Alpha is working with stakeholders from DISCOM, investment bankers, government and philanthropies to scale-up agrivoltaics in India. Often it turns out that some of the best places to install solar panels are also often the best places to grow crops. The agrivoltaics will break the barrier of land acquisition, which often involves challenges, like rehabilitation of villages and affect farming, crop production and livelihood.

Following are the locations and capacities which have agrivoltaics interventions in India.

Fully Elevated

Harsha Abakus, Pandhro - 1.0 MW

Harsha Abakus, Sikka - 1.0 MW

Jodhpur, CAZRI - 105 kW

GIPCL, Amrol - 1.0 MW

GIPCL, Vastan - 1.0 MW

Amity Uni, Noida - 10 kW

Dayalbagh Uni, Agra - 200 kW

Jain Irrigation Pilot Sites

Mahindra Susten, Gingurthy - 1 MW

JAU University, Junagadh - 7.2 kW

Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Delhi - 110 kW

Hinren Engineering, - 3 kW

Sandhwani Solar Power Plant

Add-on or combined with other types of plants

Abellon - 3 MW

Cochin International Airport Solar Farm

NISE, Gurugram - 10 kW

NISE, Gurugram - 100 kW

NISE - Bifacial PV Pilot

Fish Pond Agri-PV system - 30 kW

SunMaster - 2.5 MW

GroSolar - 1 MW

A recent study by Fraunhofer ISE has found that only 1% of India’s agricultural land converted into 450kWp/hectare of photovoltaics will add an astonishing additional photovoltaic capacity of around 630 GW. India’s demand for power has increased by almost 40% over the last five years. With no signs of this dynamic development slowing down any time soon, India is poised to rapidly scale up its generation capacity. The focus increasingly has shifted towards solar power capacities additions which now undercut thermal generators in terms of price per unit of energy (Levelised cost of energy, LCOE). Moreover, the Indian Government has set itself an ambitious goal of achieving 100 GW of installed capacity of solar photovoltaics by 2022 in response to international efforts to decarbonise the economy.

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