Innovative 'Cooling as a Service' Model Pioneers Sustainable Solutions in Indian Market - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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A conversation with Madhusudhan Rapole, CEO of Oorja Energy Engineering. With a dedicated focus on sustainable thermal solutions in India’s dynamic market, Madhu brings a wealth of expertise to the realm of sustainable cooling. Let’s delve into the innovative strategies implemented by Oorja Energy to reshape the industry landscape and promote the widespread adoption of sustainable cooling solutions.

Narasimhan Santhanam, Director, EAI interviewed Madhusudhan Rapole, CEO of Oorja Energy Engineering. Here are the highlights and takeaways.

Narsi: Hello Madhu, We’re delighted to have you. As the CEO of Oorja Energy Engineering, your focus on sustainable thermal solutions in India’s market is quite unique. Could you share with us what sets Oorja Energy apart from other firms?

Madhu: Certainly. Oorja Energy Engineering stands out because we concentrate on sustainable thermal solutions in a market that primarily focuses on renewable power and electricity. We’ve been dedicated to this niche for almost a decade now, and it’s been an exciting journey.

Narsi: Your emphasis on sustainable cooling is intriguing. Could you elaborate on the potential market segments in India that could benefit the most from sustainable cooling solutions?

Madhu: Certainly. Almost all segments in India can benefit from highly energy-efficient, low-carbon cooling solutions. However, sectors such as hospitals, hotels, airports, and warehouses, where air conditioning is used extensively throughout the year, stand to gain the most. These segments not only reap high operational savings but also contribute significantly to decarbonization efforts.

Narsi: Despite the evident potential, why do you think there hasn’t been a swifter uptake of sustainable cooling solutions in India?

Madhu: The slow adoption can be attributed to a couple of key factors. Firstly, there’s a prevailing misconception regarding the higher upfront costs associated with low-carbon solutions. Moreover, the existing industry structure incentivizes the sale of more cooling capacity rather than prioritizing energy-efficient solutions. Addressing these structural barriers is imperative to catalyze widespread adoption.

Narsi: You’ve mentioned “cooling as a service” as a potential solution to overcome these barriers. Could you explain how this model works and its potential to drive adoption?

Madhu: Absolutely. “Cooling as a service” shifts the focus from purchasing cooling equipment to paying for the cooling service itself. Customers pay a monthly fee based on the cooling they consume, similar to how we pay for electricity usage. This model not only incentivizes energy efficiency but also aligns the interests of service providers and customers.

Narsi: That sounds promising. How do you plan to take this model to the market, and what are your expectations for its adoption?

Madhu: We’re actively engaging with stakeholders across various sectors, particularly hospitals and commercial offices, to deploy operational sites for “cooling as a service” within the year. By drawing from successful precedents in the solar market and targeting both existing and new buildings, we aim to showcase the viability of this model and drive its widespread adoption in India’s cooling industry.

Narsi: Thank you for sharing your insights, Madhu. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors to promote sustainable cooling solutions through innovative models like “cooling as a service.”

Madhu: Thank you very much. It’s been a pleasure speaking with you.

As we conclude this enlightening discussion with Madhu, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for sharing invaluable insights into the world of sustainable cooling solutions. Through the visionary approach of “cooling as a service” and a steadfast commitment to addressing industry challenges, Oorja Energy Engineering exemplifies the spirit of innovation and sustainability in India’s evolving landscape. We eagerly anticipate the transformative impact of these initiatives as we journey towards a greener and more sustainable future.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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