In 2007, both the German and Indian governments worked with the spiritual institution of Prajapita Brahmakumaris to create the world's largest solar cooker and a solar thermal power plant in Talheti at the base of Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India where the international headquarters of the Prajapita Brahmakumaris is located. This resulted in considerable decrease in consumption of carbon based fossil fuels and creating a pollution free environment.
38000 vegetarian meals can be potentially cooked at one go at the solar kitchen. At present, the food is being cooked for around 17,500 people from India and all over the world who are either residing in or visiting the campus.
The kitchen and the roof have been designed by Switzerland-based Wolfgang Scheffler, regarded as the father of solar community kitchens, along with BKWSU’s renewable energy department.
The entire solar installation generates 3.6 tonnes of steam every day which is used for preparing food and drinks. Around 50 kg of rice can be cooked within 12 minutes. “It saves around 200 litres of diesel and 1.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in a day. The kitchen also saves 184 kg of LPG every day,”
says Aneta Loj, research and development coordinator, India One Solar Thermal power project at BKWSU.
The project was conceived and executed with the objective of developing a green technology which is suitable for India and can be replicated elsewhere.
Hopefully, this successful model of green energy can inspire similar initiatives all around the world, especially community kitchens, and reduce dependence on fossil fuels further.