The Climate Group partners with SELCO India to provide clean energy solutions for rural communities in Maharashtra, India

8 January 2014

NEW DELHI: SELCO India in partnership with Small-Scale Sustainable Infrastructure Development Fund (S3IDF) and Bhagini Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (BNGVN), have joined The Climate Group’s Bijli - Clean Energy for All program to install Solar Home-Lighting Systems in 700 households within the next six months. The new partnership will provide decentralized clean energy solutions to 3,500 new customers in the hilly tribal villages in Nandurbar district, Maharashtra.

Rural communities in the villages of Nandurbar district who are not connected to the national grid, typically use kerosene lanterns to light their households. These inefficient kerosene lamps are not only environmentally damaging but also pose significant health hazards and are often expensive to the rural villagers.

According to the World Bank’s Development Research Group burning of one liter of kerosene emits 2.8 kilograms of CO2, so replacing kerosene lamps with solar energy has huge potential for reducing carbon emissions.

The Bijli - Clean Energy for All partnership not only aims to bring marginalized communities onto the energy access map but also to create a program that is sustainable from an environmental and financial perspective. SELCO India, in partnership with S3IDF and BNGVN will establish a long-term Revolving Fund that creates a channel of end user financing, to help establish an entire ecosystem of technology and financial support to the rural customer which can be highly replicable.

Jim Walker, Co-Founder and International Programmes Director, The Climate Group, said: "SELCO India has been providing sustainable rural energy solutions for communities living below the poverty line for a number of years, through a combination of customized energy service systems, innovative financing and an understanding of market needs of different user groups. They pioneer links between renewable energy technology, financing, income generation, energy services and quality of life. SELCO India is a glowing example of a market-driven social enterprise and through this partnership we aim to revitalize rural energy systems by outlining the potential of renewable energy-powered, off-grid electricity access and empower local communities."

Harish Hande, Co-Founder of SELCO and Chairman of S3IDF India said: "Today at least 1.6 billion people lack access to reliable energy services. But to reach them in a sustainable manner, diverse delivery models have to be developed, as there is not going to be a one-size-fits-all solution. In this program with BNGVN, our partnership with The Climate Group (under the Bijli* project) would like to demonstrate models that could be replicated in similarly impoverished parts of the world: there lies the excitement for us. We are glad that The Climate Group has taken up this important initiative at a critical time when UN has declared 2014 to 2024 as the decade for Energy Access for all.

The Climate Group’s Access to Rural Energy in India programme, Bijli – Clean Energy for All, principally funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the lives of rural inhabitants in India by deploying renewable energy technologies and improving infrastructure quality.

Note: Winners of The Climate Group’s Off-Grid Energy Challenge Competition will be announced shortly. 

*Bijli means 'light' in Hindi.

Related news:

The Climate Group, World Bank Institute and Dutch Postcode Lottery launch off-grid energy competition in India

New wind generation records in Ireland and Ban Ki-moon says “Next year is the year for climate action”

China to generate more energy from renewables than the US, Japan and the EU combined by 2035


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