Renew Power: Women for Climate

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    “ReNew, one of India’s largest clean energy companies, recognize the fact that women are disproportionately impacted by climate change. Therefore, it is imperative that they are at the heart of finding solutions as well. Our women for climate program intend to engage women to fight climate change in both rural and urban India.”

    Project SURYA by ReNew Power: Women for Climate-Project SURYA by ReNew Power: Women for Climate

    In partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) has been initiated in Gujarat in June 2022 to help underprivileged and extremely low-paid agariya women from the physically challenging and traditional salt pan industry who work in a very harsh Rann of Kutch marshes, and help them leapfrog into the modern clean energy industry by training them as solar panel and solar pump technicians—and into the frontline in the battle against climate change.

    The program was launched in June 2022, with about 60 women at Dhokawada, Patan and will eventually see around 1,000 women (agariya workers) trained in these new clean transition roles/supporting roles at renewable facilities in Gujarat and will be supported by the Government of India’s National Skill Development Corporation. This program can be potentially scaled up with those in different lower-income-generation traditional livelihoods in other parts of the country to tens of thousands of women and even more, supporting them in income generation in a more organized sector, boosting empowerment and enabling India’s clean energy transition.

    Salt farming in IndiaSalt farming in India is very hard work and women must brave the extreme temperature of the barren Thar desert/marshes where the Rann of Kutch is located, where they have to set up huts, dig wells, and pump-up brine, which they sift through a series of pans, eventually crystallising salt. Apart from the pumping, all elements of the process are completed by manually. These agariya women who usually live for six to seven months in makeshift shacks besides its salt pans, generally work without a contract, and the pay is very poor and are stuck in a cycle of debt and poverty. In fact, in 8-to-10 months they manage to save only around Rs 10,000 while, on average, a solar panel technician-for which some of these SEWA sisters are going to be trained—can earn an average of INR 12000-18,000 a month.

    Women Climate Champions by ReNew Power-Women Climate Champions by ReNew Power

    In partnership with UNDP and IIT Delhi, ReNew Power is working on a business impact accelerator program for women climate entrepreneurs
    who would be solving the most complex climate and energy related issues. The first cohort of 6 climate entrepreneurs covers areas
    such as energy efficiency, storage, electrodes, circularity, sea water desalination. The goal is to continue this program year on
    year and ensure a cadre of women climate entrepreneurs to contribute to India’s climate action agenda.

    Clean Cooking program by ReNew, Power

    -Clean Cooking program by ReNew, Power

    Most women in rural India rely on traditional cookstoves which use massive amounts of firewood for cooking. These cookstoves not only
    increase the cooking time thereby reducing productive hours for a woman but also emit large quantities of carbon which impacts a
    woman’s respiratory health. In Dhar region of Madhya Pradesh, we have recently launched an improved cookstove initiative which will
    see us impact 10,000 families predominantly relying on firewood as their primary fuel. The improved cookstove uses the principles of
    efficient design and combustion and is built to ensure reduction in usage of firewood which not only reduces carbon emissions but
    also improves women’s health. The project has a potential to reduce 30,000 tCO2e per year.