Stakeholder Workshop on Solar Energy Generation for Dairy Processing

KfW Development Bank (KfW) in collaboration with National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) is in preparation for a project “Solar Energy Generation for Dairy Processing in India”. The purpose of the project is to increase the use of solar energy in the milk processing chain through investments in Photovoltaic systems and solar thermal applications. As part of project preparation, a one-day stakeholder workshop was conducted on 30th November 2021 in Anand, Gujarat to assess the interest of milk unions to participate in this project. Around 17 milk unions from 11 states participated actively in the workshop.

The Chairman of NDDB Mr. Meenesh Shah addressed the gathering mentioning the immense potential for solar energy applications in the dairy processing chain, the need for energy security and the focus on climate-friendly measures which will have a long-term impact. Dr. Martin Lux, Head of Energy team KfW Office New Delhi, gave the introduction speech briefing about KfW development bank and its activities in India.

The workshop majorly focused on the findings of the BMZ-financed feasibility study, along with assessing the views of the participants on the study outcome and its potential. The commissioned consultant (Fichtner) presented the feasibility study followed by NDDB sharing their experience in implementing solar projects (solar thermal, PV and storage) with the milk unions in terms of suitable technology, business models, challenges and the way forward. Participants’ expectations in terms of technology and financials were brainstormed and the next steps were proposed accordingly.

The overall discussion showed that most of the milk unions are interested in solar interventions. As most of the co-operatives work at low-profit margins, price sensitivity is the key for them. Many milk unions showed interest in solar thermal solutions to meet their hot water demand which is otherwise met by conventional sources like diesel or natural gas which is expensive. With the support of NDDB, many milk unions have already installed solar thermal applications like parabolic dish, trough and compound parabolic concentrators (CPC). Based on their experiences, CPC’s perform best due to their simplicity in design and low-irradiation performance, also showing a payback between 4 to 5 years. Solar PV is seen as a reliable source of income to milk unions and high interest in solar-based refrigeration has also been observed.

As a way forward, NDDB is working with both milk unions and the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal husbandry and dairying to bring out innovative approaches in terms of customized solutions and funds to implement this project with the support of BMZ/ KfW.