Agrivoltaics and SDGs in Focus: Lecture Series Illuminates Sustainable Development Collaborations

In a recent lecture series event organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Engagement Global gGmbH, and Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, the focus was on the crucialrole of private sector collaborations in advancing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With around 70 participants, the event began with insightful introductions, providing an overview of the German government's global development efforts. A compelling presentation on Agrivoltaics by Mr. Vivek Saraf, Founder and CEO of SunSeed APV, highlighted the session. The dynamic Q&A session delved into critical questions about global partnership efforts, their benefits for Germany and partner countries, and inquiries related to Agrivoltaics and its contribution to Food, Energy, and Water Security.

Mr. Benjamin Knödler, Head of Private Sector Cooperations at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), emphasised the significance of Development Partnerships with the Private Sector in mobilizing substantial investments required for SDG implementation in Global South countries. The event aimed to address how the private sector can make tangible contributions to Agenda 2030 in developing countries, and whether collaboration with the private sector can act as a catalyst for sustainable development.

Contributing to the discourse, Mr. Vivek Saraf, Founder and CEO of SunSeed APV in India, presented insights on the "Environmental & Economic Benefits of Agrivoltaics in India." This joint initiative with GIZ India and Kanoda Energy Systems, under the umbrella of BMZ and their develoPPP funding program, established a 1.4 MW Agrivoltaics Research Pilot Plant in Manwath, Maharashtra. Mr. Saraf provided a comprehensive overview of the project's key components, highlighting Agrivoltaics as a sustainability solution for securing food, water, and energy in rural areas in India. Emphasising the need for a scientific and economic framework for bankable Agrivoltaics projects with improved financial returns for both project developers and farmers, he also delved into the advantages of public-private partnerships. Practical insights on project implementation, challenges faced, and the importance of ongoing research and development efforts were shared.

The lecture concluded with a broader understanding of how partnerships between the public and private sectors can serve as a driving force for sustainable development, contributing to the realization of the SDGs by 2030. Collaboration remains crucial for creating impactful and scalable solutions for a more sustainable and inclusive future amidst complex global challenges.

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