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.