Winners for off-grid energy competition announced

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13 May 2014

NEW DELHI: This week The Climate Group, in collaboration with the World Bank Institute and the Dutch Postcode Lottery, announced winners of the Off-Grid Energy Challenge.

The purpose of these awards was to recognize the most innovative and financially attractive business models in the off-grid energy sector in India with proven technologies and scope for rapid scale up.

These winners, recognized as promising business models in the off-grid sector, will be awarded US$30,000 each to further rural energy access in India. They are:

Mera Gao Power, Simpa Networks, OMC Power and Nature Tech Infra.

The off-grid energy challenge is part of The Climate Group’s access to rural energy project in India, Bijli – Clean Energy for All. Funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance the lives of rural inhabitants by deploying renewable energy technologies and improving infrastructure over the course of two years.

Krishnan Pallassana, India Director, The Climate Group says, “We believe that this recognition will inspire entrepreneurs and investors alike to the exciting prospect. The award is a recognition to some of the top business models in the off-grid energy space. We hope this recognition will inspire investments in and scale up of off-grid energy business that can reach out to millions of Indians who need affordable and reliable energy.”

The competition which was launched last year, received an overwhelming response from potential projects in the off-grid sector. The jury comprised Jim Walker, Co-Founder and Director of International Programs and Strategy, The Climate Group (Chair of the Jury); Mohua Mukherjee, Senior Energy Specialist, South Asia Energy Unit, The World Bank; Aditi Dass, Director of Technology Programs, The Climate Group and Subaskar Sitsabeshan, Program Analyst, The Climate Group.

The jury reviewed all applications based on objective evaluation criteria developed by The Climate Group, assessed performance parameters and interviewed shortlisted companies. The evaluation was based on three main pillars viz. socio-economic impact, company track record and field due-diligence.

Mohua Mukherjee, Senior Energy Specialist, the World Bank and a Jury panel member of the Off-Grid Energy Challenge commented: “The off-grid energy competition helped to identify some of the most promising commercially viable business models in the off-grid energy space. This initiative by The Climate Group will shine a spotlight on this exciting new energy revolution, and help to build bridges between small scale energy entrepreneurs and the investors whose capital is needed to scale up these efforts."

Krishnan further adds: “The Bijli-Clean Energy For All initiative, our flagship initiative supported by Dutch Post Code Lottery, has shown excellent results in its first year. The evidence gathered by us until now indicates a strong case for rapid scale-up of rural energy access that has the potential to unleash unprecedented development and growth in rural India."

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Image by Jarnail Singh/Flickr

By Anisha Laming

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