Our Portfolio

Affordable energy services to improve income generation in rural India


India’s rapid economic growth is highlighting energy as a major social and political issue. Many rural communities in India lack any access to reliable energy services, forcing the poor to rely on traditional sources for their daily energy needs.  Clean energy development is hampered by a lack of access to financing and a lack of suitable products that directly help generate income.

Two earlier REEEP-funded projects with SELCO Solar Light  Pvt. Ltd began to address these issues, working in tandem with local financial institutions to analyse individual energy needs, and to give loans that lead to income generating activities. For example, loan products were created for entrepreneurs who rent out solar-powered lights for a pay-for-use basis. This approach is ripe for spreading to new areas of India.


Photo (right): Solar-powered homes in Bihar. Credit: SELCO India



To scale up previous SELCO-implemented projects that created linkages between clean energy services, microfinance and income generation, and widen their scope to Bihar, southern Gujarat and northern Karnataka; some of India’s poorest regions.

Main Activities

  • Develop  partnerships with community based organisations and financial institutions in the targeted areas such as SEWA Bank in Gujarat, SEWA Bharat in Bihar and SKDRDP in North Karnataka
  • Develop energy service packages around lighting, cooking and other occupations and with partner organisations, develop financial  mechanisms to suit them
  • Assist 30 different energy service businesses and develop 10 micro energy enterprises  for women, both as individuals and in groups

Expected Impact

  • Access to affordable clean energy widened to energy-starved people in some of the poorest parts of India provided through tailored financing and supply chain
  • Energy services and/or income generation provided to 500 households, benefiting 2500 people
  • Model provided that can be replicated in many poor areas of the world, supporting the International Year of Energy Access for All
Programme sector:
RE & EE (Business & Finance)
2011 - 2013
€180,000 including co-funding from
Implementing Agency:
SELCO Solar Light Pvt. Ltd.
REEEP grant funded by:
United Kingdom
REEEP grant funded by: