Excessive use of fossil energy or “bad energy” has created imbalance, degradation of nature and climate change in the world. All these can be corrected through the use of “right energy”, the clean and sustainable energy, like the energy from the Sun. The Sun is at the centre of our existence and we have to come back to the centre and base our lives 100% on solar or renewable energy for ensuring survival of human life on the planet.
The solution lies in switching to clean energy, drastically (100%) and immediately (in a very short time). This needs to be done by following two fundamental principles of “limiting consumption” and “localising production”. These two fundamental laws are Prof. Solanki’s that may be called as laws of human existence or sustainable living on this planet:
Prof. Solanki's laws of human existence
The planet Earth is an ecosystem of finite resources. Generating and fulfilling energy needs locally involving local people by following these two laws is Energy Swaraj.
The two fundamental laws are the laws of nature and aligned with many if not most ancient scriptures. Mahatma Gandhi very beautifully summarised these laws of nature through his quotes “The world has enough for everyone’s need but not enough for anyone’s greed” which indicates “limiting consumption” and another quote “...not the mass production, but production by masses is required” which indicates “distributed production”. We also believe that both these laws are also laws of nature. Nature follows these laws and therefore everything that is part of nature is self-limiting and localised.
The philosophy of the Energy Swaraj Foundation is based on scientific understanding and practical learnings through its seed project SoULS (Solar Urja through Localization for Sustainability) of IIT Bombay through which involved locals in assembly, sale, repair and in some cases manufacturing. Through SoULS we reached out to over 8 Million families by training 9000 local women, demonstrating the success of the idea of Energy Swaraj - “Energy by Locals for Locals”. This initiative has won the IEEE’s global grand prize of USD 100,000 for the Empowering Billion Lives competition, CSIR Award, Prime Minister's Innovation award (to the SoULS in a district) and many others. The IEEE award money was fully donated to form the Energy Swaraj Foundation.
Mahatma Gandhi launched his activities towards India’s Swaraj from Sabarmati Ashram including Dandi March. To take the motto of Energy Swaraj to all - Energy Swaraj Foundation was launched on 15th August 2019 from GandhiJi’s Sabarmati Ashram, Gujarat. Hon. PadmaBhushan Dr. Anil Kakodkar was the chief guest of the event.
Every individual, rich or poor, from developed countries or developing countries, uses carbon based energy and contributes to climate change, and therefore every individual must take part in solving climate change solutions. The objective of the Energy Swaraj Foundation is to establish Energy Swaraj not only in India but all over the world by creating Energy Swaraj as a Public Movement .
Energy Swaraj Foundation is working to mitigate climate change through creating awareness among masses and encouraging them to take action by adopting solar or renewable energy 100%.
Towards achieving these objectives, the Foundation has two targets to be achieved by 2030:
Why should there be a public movement?
Earth is an ecosystem with finite resources; therefore, the consumption of resources also has to be finite. Without limiting consumption, any amount of science and technology would not result in a sustainable future. Energy generation, even from renewable energy sources including for solar and wind, will have environmental impact, albeit a small one but not zero.
It is important to find ways and opportunities to avoid the wastage of energy and minimise the energy requirements.
The two fundamental laws suggest that even adoption of Solar Energy or Renewable Energy has to be done carefully. Therefore the Energy Swaraj Foundation recommends the AMG (Avoid- Minimise-Generate) approach towards adoption of solar energy.
First 'Avoid' the use of energy by 1/3rd, even if it is solar energy, then 'Minimize' the use of energy by another 1/3rd, using energy efficient appliances, and at last 'Generate' only remaining 1/3rd energy locally using renewable sources.
Making over a billion people energy literate and encouraging over 100 million families to become electricity independent (grid-free) by adopting AMG principle of sustainable energy, which include first ‘Avoid’ the use of energy by 1/3 rd , even if it is solar energy, then ‘Minimize’ the use of energy by another 1/3 rd , using energy efficient appliances, and at last ‘Generate’ only remaining 1/3 rd energy locally using renewable sources.
Making a global impact in mitigation of climate change caused by excessive use of fossil energy by establishing Energy Swaraj everywhere across the world, in which energy is generated and consumed locally as much as possible, using local renewable resources through involvement of local people.
A renowned solar scientist, a professor of IIT Bombay, Dr. Solanki has been referred to as “Solar Man of India” by Times of India, The Hindu and India Today. Some people also call him “Solar Gandhi”. Known for his remarkable work in the field of Solar, he is an educator, innovator, researcher, author and and loves to talk about the philosophy of life. He is the author of 8 books and over 100 research papers.
Following Gandhian ideals, he has coined the word ‘Energy Swaraj’. His Energy Swaraj Movement is a stepping stone towards energy access, energy sustainability, and climate change mitigation.
Currently he is on an 11 years long Energy Swaraj Yatra through a solar bus to bring awareness about climate change to masses and encourage them to switch towards 100% solar powered life. During this 11 years of yatra he has pledged to live on a bus and not go home until the goal is achieved. Prof. is Solanki believes in practising yoga, breathing exercises and meditation for physical and mental well-being as a teacher of Art of Living.
Dr. Venkat Rajaraman is an Advisory Committee member of the National Center for Photovoltaic Research and Education (NCPRE), India. He has over 25 years of experience in Product Design and Engineering Management. Prior to that, he was the CEO of Su-Kam Power Systems, leading power back-up and RE solution provider from India. Before moving to renewable energy space, he was the Vice President of Engineering at Portal Player, a company that was acquired by NVIDIA Corp in Jan 2007. He worked at Sun Microsystems, USA. He has a BE degree from Madurai-Kamaraj University and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He specializes in Renewable Energy, Engineering Management, Product Design, and Development.
He is the Chairman and Managing Director for Aartech and its subsidiaries with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and prudent management with multiple initiatives across various domains and ecosystems. He has 10 Years of R&D experience followed by executive responsibilities and leadership roles. He has also designed and developed BTS 2000 Microprocessor Based Numerical Fast Bus Transfer Systems for Utilities and Process Industries. He has also worked extensively on developing Specialized and Selected Energy Applications in a multi-technologist environment by sharing a platform for technology and business development.
Dr. Anil Kakodkar is an Indian Nuclear Physicist and Mechanical Engineer. He was the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India and the Secretary to the Government of India. He was also the Director of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre He was awarded Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour, on 26 January 2009. He was a part of the core team of architects of India's Peaceful Nuclear Tests in 1974 and 1998.
Prof. Anil Kumar Gupta is a scholar in the area of grassroots innovations. He is the founder of the Honey Bee Network and has been a Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. Besides, he holds the Executive Vice Chair of the National Innovation Foundation. He is also a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science. He was awarded the Padma Shri in the year 2004, for his contributions to management education
Prof. Deepak B. Phatak is an Indian Computer Scientist and Academic, and a recipient of the Padma Shri Award for his contribution in science and technology in 2013. He has been a consultant and adviser to many organizations on various issues related to Information Technology. He was listed among fifty most influential Indians, by Business week in 2009. He received the 'Excellence in Teaching' award of IIT Bombay and the IIT Bombay Industrial Impact award.
The Energy Swaraj Foundation is working to create Energy Swaraj as a public movement and it has set clear targets to achieve by 2030. In this movement, we are fortunate to have various members of the movement, who have come forward to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Energy Swaraj Foundation. These members are not only taking an active role in mitigating climate change and adopting solar energy but they are also helping financially in creating the movement in a small way through their memberships. Each member signs a joint declaration to join the fight against climate change.
Mr. Ambrish Kela (CEO & Managing Director) has dedicated his life to bringing more engagement and hands-on experience in the Indian educational sector through his innovation-driven entity – Scientech Technologies Pvt. Ltd. with a gamut of educational products in the bag which supports 24x7 learning.
Prof Armin ABERLE serves as CEO of the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). In parallel, he is a tenured full professor in the university’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focus is on photovoltaic materials, devices, and modules.
Dr. Kumar’s research examines economic, social, and behavioural responses to environmental changes that impact the well-being of poor communities in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also collaborating with the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay to investigate the impact of the dissemination of solar lamps on poor households in India.