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World’s first solar fishing vessel made in India wins international award

The world's first solar fishing ship, SRAV, is made in India (Pics. Courtesy Twitter/@NavaltBoats)

India continues to make strides in reducing carbon footprints by opting for renewable energy. The world’s first sea-going solar fishing ship – Srav designed and developed by Kochi-based NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats — has bagged the iconic Gustave Trouve Award for the Best Electric Work Boat in the world.

This award category was keenly contested as it had nominations from some of the largest boat builders from across 30 nations.

India’s SRAV wins the ‘World’s Best Electric Work Boat’ award

There are 250,000 fishing vessels that are operating on petrol and kerosene and hundreds of thousand people depend on these boats for offshore fishing. The ever- increasing rising price of fossil fuels is a big concern for the fishing community, more so as they operate on very low margins from the catch that they receive.

Talking about Srav, Sandith Thandassery, NavAlt’s Founder-CEO informed that it is part of the seagoing vessel series from the company which includes solar-powered small and large fishing vessels. “Srav is a fascinating beast to ride on. It can host up to six fishermen. It has a 50-km range and is ideal for small fishers. The energy bill would be less than Rs.10,000, while fossil fuels would cost roughly Rs.3 lakh. Wear and tear too will be much less. The Srav is super stable and super quiet.”

NavAlt is backed by the Shell Foundation to introduce the sun-powered water vessels in the fishermen’s community. Several of these vessels will be deployed across India’s west coast to help fishers in that region.

NavAlt is winning the global award for the second time. Their 75-seater solar-powered ferry Aditya operating in the Vaikom-Thavanakadavu route had bagged the Gustave award in 2020.

The prestigious awards were instituted in memory of Gustave Trouve, the famous French inventor, electrical engineer, physicist, and polymath.