Replicating innovative financing to link energy services and income generation


Many underprivileged communities of rural India lack access to reliable energy services, forcing the poor to rely on traditional sources for their daily energy needs.  Renewable energy (RE) development is hampered by a lack of access to financing and a lack of suitable products that directly help generate income.

In 2006-2007 an earlier REEEP-funded project began to address the issue. SELCO Solar Light Pvt. Ltd. worked in tandem with local financial institutions to understand individual energy needs, and to create products and give loans accordingly.

For example, sewing machines were redesigned to work on solar energy. Financial models were created around entrepreneurs who could rent lights for a pay-for-use basis to users who could not otherwise own a system.


To scale up SELCO-implemented projects which create sustainable linkages between energy services, microfinance and income generation, improving lives of the poor.

Main Activities

  • Design energy service business models for combining product development and innovative financial schemes
  • Replicate the energy service program of SEWA Bank and SELCO with another similar microfinance institution for energy loan portfolios
  • Strengthen market service delivery mechanisms through local entrepreneurs, targeting 25 projects for energy service enterprises
  • Create awareness among financial institutions regarding the innovative financial models

Expected Impact

  • Increased access to financing and affordable renewable energy solutions for underserved and communities without banks
  • Integration of an energy loan portfolio into the regular activities of more microfinance institutions, helping the poor access RE sources.
  • Access to products that are specifically suited to income generation activities for the poor
  • Opening of similar RE portfolios in other financial institutions, leading to more projects that link income generation and renewable energy.


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Harish Hande's picture

Harish Hande

Managing Director - SELCO India

Programme sector: 

RE & EE (Business&Finance)

Stage of project: 





2009 - 2010


€ 150,000 including co-funding from Internal resources (SELCO), Financing for project (beneficiaries)

Implementing agency: 

SELCO Solar Light Pvt. Ltd.

REEEP grant funded by:

United Kingdom