Air quality is deteriorating and it deteriorates drastically during the months of October-November in North Indian regions, especially in Delhi NCR, when farmers of Punjab and Haryana harvest paddy and begin the conventional practice of open stubble burning – the cheapest, but not the best way to get rid of the crop residue in a very short window of 15-20 days for the sowing of the next wheat crop.
Despite crop residue burning being a criminal offence under the Air and Pollution Control Act of 1981, around 39 million tonnes of rice stubble is still burnt in North India, amongst which 20 million tonnes is burnt in Punjab alone. This happens despite the push by the government to use in-situ crop residue management techniques, like mulching and decomposing straw, as farmers are reluctant to adopt them, as they create a dent in their income. The alternate solution to clear their land is ex-situ management techniques of processing and baling crop residue, which also entails a massive investment in the baling equipment and thus, leaving behind the only option for farmers to set their farms ablaze.
“Though we also suffer from the harmful effects of air pollution but putting our farms on fire is the only economic solution for us to get rid of the stubble in such a short window span”, says one of the farmers who has put his farms on fire this season and wants to remain anonymous.
Solution Designed by RY Energies:
Sufferers of the poor air quality, the 2 then Delhi University Graduates and impact entrepreneurs, Aru Mangla and Aayushi, set on to fix the severe problem of stubble burning. Upon thorough market research, they came up with a solution and co-founded RY Energies – a DIPP, Govt of India recognised technology-led impact venture with a vision “to lead the development and deployment of commercially viable and sustainable technology solutions to make the world a better place to live”.
By leveraging new-age technologies, they provide professional biomass supply chain solutions to create a win-win solution for farmers, environment and biomass users by processing crop residue, like Paddy Straw, into rich quality biomass resource, and supplying it to end-users to enable its utilisation for productive uses, like energy and biofuel generation, and providing them the convenience and assurance of year-long availability of quality biomass fuel, along with enabling increase in farmers’ income by timely clearing their farms in a barter-model, and in the process boosting rural economy and contributing to a cleaner environment by preventing open crop residue burning.
In addition to the biomass supply chain services, the company also offers biomass consultancy services in the domains of biomass assessment studies and technical assistance. By providing a comprehensive biomass turnkey solution to the end-user, the startup aims to become the one-stop-shop for all the biomass needs in the next 5 years and revolutionise the entire biomass sector.
To validate the business idea, the venture successfully completed its pilot operations in 2018 and has fully commercialized its operations in 2019. Currently, they process paddy straw and sugarcane trash in the regions of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in India. However, they envisage expanding their operations in other regions of the country and overseas markets where similar practices are being followed.
In the above-mentioned operating regions, their target customer segments include, but not limited to, independent power plants and industries, cogeneration plants, biofuel plants, bio-CNG plants, paper board units, briquette & pellet industries and mushroom growers.
Recognition By Leaders
The young founders are being mentored by experts from the leading business, environment and technical institutions like SIIF, TERI, IIT Delhi (WEE Foundation) and KLE University. With an on-ground experience of more than 2 years in the biomass sector and the team’s prior stint of providing clean and affordable green energy solutions in the rural sector complemented with their in-depth sector knowledge makes them the most suitable to effectively implement and scale this solution. As of now, they are bootstrapped and operationally profitable for financially sustaining the venture.
Along with making in-roads in the biomass sector, they leverage their experience, knowledge and partnerships in the solar industry to provide Solar Energy Solutions to commercial, industrial, institutional and residential users to enable them to reduce their monthly electricity expenses and enable clean energy generation. This also contributes to the government’s mission of achieving the target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022 and thus increasing the proportion of renewable energy in the World’s energy mix.
The young entrepreneurs like them are highly encouraged to stand-up and start-up to solve the challenging issues to create an everlasting impact in society.
Driven by the value of community development and the idea of technology-led sustainability, these 2 young entrepreneurs believe to make a difference through their impactful initiatives and make the World a better place to live.