IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and renewable energy company Minda NexGenTech will work together to provide off-grid lighting solutions based on renewable energy to over a million people in 1,500 Indian villages by 2016.
With IFC’s advisory assistance, Minda will design learning programs for rural entrepreneurs and consultative workshops for rural off-grid stakeholders. It will also study trends in energy consumption to develop a viable business model for off-grid solutions. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1,000,000, which Minda will finance with a combination of equity, debt and third-party financing over the next year as part of its Renewable Energy Power Generation initiative.
“Once fully scaled, this program could substantially change decentralized distribution and access to energy by providing rural electrification using renewable energy in a manner largely unexplored so far,” said N.K. Minda, Chairman of Uno Minda Group, parent company of Minda NexGenTech.
Through off-grid power generation facilities using mini and micro-grid power plants, Minda will provide energy access to areas and communities located away from the power grids. In the first year, the project will be rolled out in villages of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
Thomas Davenport, IFC Director for South Asia, said, “Our off-grid lighting initiative will serve as a model to address clean energy needs for the most vulnerable in rural India, women and children, while promoting local entrepreneurship and sustainable rural development. This partnership has the potential to transform the off-grid energy solutions market in India.”
This project is a part of IFC’s off-grid lighting program for Asia, being rolled out in India first in partnership with the governments of the United States and Italy. The Indian government supports this initiative to provide safe, clean and affordable off-grid lighting to two million people living in rural India over the next three years and avoid an estimated 64,000 tons of carbon emissions.