Money from Scrap Solar Battery

Mr. Mohan B.K., the 28 years old entrepreneur from Gaguda VDC -5 of Doti district is nowadays busy in his solar repair shop located at Bagar Bazzar, a market center of Gaguda, Satphari, Chamarachautara, and nearby VDCs of Doti.

He is earning around Rs. 25,000 per month. He provides Solar Home Systems (SHS) and mobile repair services to the customers. But, substantial portion of his income comes from collection and trading of used SHS batteries. He collect used SHS battery from his customers and sells it to Suryodaya Urja Traders located at Dhangadi as well as he purchases new battery from them and sells it to his customers.

“Living at remote place of Doti, I have never thought that I could make so much money out of scrape SHS battery” says Mr. Mohan. “I would like to express my thanks to RAP-3 / Winrock International team for giving me opportunity to participate in 3 months SHS and mobile repair & maintenance training, providing me necessary tools and supporting me in preparing my business plan that clearly shows aggregation and selling of used battery in a volume, can generate good profit. This motivated me to do the business”, explains Mr. Mohan.

In generally, Government and other projects are promoting Solar Home Systems in remote and vulnerable areas from where used battery are largely uncollected and left with haphazard disposal. This can be the key cause of environmental pollution with implication on ecology and public health. Growing trend of SHS installation in these vulnerable area without proper system of collection and recycling in place could result in alarming situation. To address this, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre has introduced used battery voucher system, where SHS users gets a deduction on new battery price according to the value of the voucher after returning the used battery to solar companies. However, this scheme has not been effective. One of the reason is absence of collection entity in the village.

The small intervention and linkage support made by Winrock International under RAP-3 project has been successful in demonstrating that scrap solar battery collection can be viable business in rural market place and also for addressing the environmental pollution problem of the solar sector.