Arc Projects: India

Renewable Energy Microfinance and Microenterprise Program (REMMP)

Arc is testing, piloting and expanding a number of business models that are focused on financing for sustainable energy including microfinance, remittances, asset finance, crowd-funding and pay as you go mechanisms. The end goal of REMMP is to increase access to finance for end users of clean energy services so as to improve livelihoods and quality of life among these target recipients.
For details on the REMMP project, click here.


The Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program

Arc is implementing the Microfinance Support Program (MSP) under The Partnership to Advance Clean Energy – Deployment Technical Assistance (PACE-D TA) Program, a five- year bilateral program with the objective to accelerate India’s transition to a high performing, low emission, and energy secure economy.
For details on the PACE-D project, click here.


Linking Energy and Microfinance: Promoting Innovations That Foster Scale

With support from the Citibank Foundation, Arc published and disseminated in-depth research on innovative affordability mechanisms for off-grid, clean energy. The projected documented how these financial products – including lending, savings, remittances and leasing products – have dramatically improved the livelihoods of poor people around the world.
For details on this project, click here.


Arc Knowledge Products: India

Arc Finance Impact Fact Sheet

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of all its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. Arc also measures and reports on other indicators we view as important for our development agenda. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance REMMP Fact Sheet

USAID’s Renewable Energy Microfinance and Microenterprise Program (REMMP) is designed to improve access to modern energy services in underserved communities, while at the same time helping USAID partners reduce carbon emissions. A key goal of REMMP is to increase the availability of consumer financing for clean energy services and products to enable low-income populations gain access to technologies that can improve their livelihoods and quality of life while mitigating climate change. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance REMMP Impact Fact Sheet

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. Arc also measures and reports on other indicators we view as important for our development agenda. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Arc Finance PACE-D TA Impact Fact Sheet

Arc Finance is committed to measuring the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. Arc also measures and reports on other indicators we view as important for our development agenda. Read our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►


Lighting Lives in Rural India: Mala’s Story

Arc Finance is committed to sharing the impact of its programs in terms of increased availability of consumer financing for clean energy products and services. This Impact Story profiles the experiences of a Simpa Networks client as she navigates life in rural India. Read our Impact Story (PDF). ►


REMMP Energy Diaries Fact Sheet

The Energy Diaries is a new research methodology that studies energy uses and spending at the household level. The objective is to improve understanding of the daily realities of the energy poor, understand how energy poverty may impact women and men differently, illustrate what these gendered needs suggest about optimal energy products and services for this market, and identify relevant policy implications for stakeholders to better meet the needs of poor households. Read our Energy Diaries Fact Sheet (PDF).►


Bandhan’s Energy Lending Initiative

Bandhan Konnagar is part of the Bandhan Group, which provides microfinance services to 7.6 million borrowers — almost all women — through 2,022 branches across 24 Indian states. In 2013, Bandhan created an energy program to provide a microfinance facility for high-quality solar devices. Bandhan aims to harness the enormous scale of its existing microfinance business to scale its energy lending activities, and transform millions of lives by making modern energy services accessible to India’s rural poor. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


Bringing Light to Bihar: The Power of Women Entrepreneurs

Over 100 million people in India live in darkness once the sun goes down. With the help of Arc Finance and USAID, BASIX is providing trade financing to women in rural Bihar, India. Solar entrepreneurship enables these women to access affordable and reliable clean energy and increase their livelihoods. With Arc’s technical assistance, BASIX has launched Vayam Renewable, which markets, sells and finances energy products for low-income consumers in rural communities and trains and supports a network of village-based solar retailer-technicians. Watch our video. ►


Meet Rakendra: A Simpa Networks Solar Agent

Over 100 million people in India live in darkness once the sun sets. With the help of Arc Finance and USAID, Simpa Networks is selling solar home systems to poor households in rural India, and making them affordable by allowing customers to pay on an incremental basis using its proprietary “pay-as-you-go” metering technology. This video profiles the work of a Simpa Solar Agent as he helps clients gain access to reliable, modern energy. Watch our video. ►


DCBS Brings Light to West Bengal

DCBS is a small, community-based and per-urban MFI that operates in more than 200 village communities in West Bengal. It has an active client base of about 12,000 women borrowers. In December 2012, DCBS began promoting a new solar lantern loan product to existing clients which is now expanding to non-clients too. With Arc’s technical assistance, DCBS has continued sales of solar lanterns by financing end-user clients as well as agents, generating local employment and investing in the futures of women and girls. Watch our video. ►


Utkarsh Brings Light to Uttar Pradesh

Over 100 million people in India live in darkness once the sun goes down. With the help of Arc Finance and USAID, Utkarsh is providing financing for poor people to purchase solar lanterns in Uttar Pradesh, radically improving their lives. With Arc’s technical assistance, Utkarsh has continued sales of solar lanterns by financing end-user clients as well as agents, generating local employment and investing in the futures of women and girls. Watch our video. ►


Innovations In Scaling Off-Grid Clean Energy Event, Washington, D.C. 2015

This series of seven videos captures a full-day 2015 workshop entitled “Innovations In Scaling Off-Grid Clean Energy: Business Models to Promote Consumer Financing.” Organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID, the day featured stakeholders from across the sector discussing the latest innovations in scaling off-grid clean energy access to the poor. Watch our video series. ►


Innovations in Financing Event, NYC 2015

This series of four videos captures a full-day 2015 workshop entitled “Innovations in Financing: The Nexus Between Energy, Distribution And Finance.” Organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID, the day featured stakeholders from across the sector discussing the latest innovations in consumer and institutional finance for providing small-scale clean energy access to the poor. Watch our video series. ►


Simpa Networks Brings “Pay-as-You-Go” to Rural Consumers

Simpa Networks uses asset finance to provide electricity to off-grid rural communities through modular, expandable Solar Home Systems (SHSs). Through its proprietary “Progressive Purchase” metering technology, Simpa’s clients pay to use their Solar Home Systems through monthly pre-paid installments, and own the assets by the end of the period, making solar technology “radically affordable” and bringing the social and economic benefits of modern energy to underserved communities. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


In-House Asset Finance for Small-Scale Renewable Energy

In-house asset finance provides customers with a pay plan that allows them to purchase a product on an installment basis. The benefits of providing in-house credit are compelling, but it is a complex and challenging undertaking. In this Briefing Note, read a synopsis of how four energy companies – SolarNow, Simpa Networks, Grameen Shakti and M-Kopa – have successfully developed an in-house asset finance capacity. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Pay-As-You-Go Technologies in Consumer Energy Finance

Many poor consumers can’t afford to pay for alternatives to expensive, low-quality energy sources, such as kerosene, candles and batteries, because of the up-front costs of solar systems and clean cookstoves. Pay-As-You-Go models (PAYG) allow customers to pay for energy services over time, spreading the cost of a unit over several months. In this Briefing Note, read about six innovative models and technologies from Azuri Technologies, Angaza Design, Lumeter Networks, M-KOPA, Fenix International and SIMPA Networks, and the many beneficial impacts of their work. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Crowdfunding in the Energy Access Space

Crowdfunding raises vast sums of untapped capital by aggregating small amounts from the pocketbooks of ordinary people around the globe, typically on a web platform and through social networks. In just a couple of decades, crowdfunding sites have come to occupy an increasingly segmented, specialized and competitive online marketplace of over US$5 billion. In this Briefing Note, read about crowdfunding examples related to the energy access space that are representative of this growing diversity: Indiegogo, Kiva, Milaap and SunFunder. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►


Milaap Uses Crowdfunding to Catalyze Energy Microfinance

Founded in 2010, Milaap is a Bangalore-based social enterprise that deploys online lending and other innovative funding methods to fill the existing capital gap for microfinance institutions (MFIs) interested in building lending portfolios for energy, water and other essential services. By channeling low-cost, flexible loan capital from an expanding base of both online and offline lenders to a select group of MFI field partners, Milaap is directly impacting the lives of a growing number of poor people throughout rural India. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►


FWWB-I’s Solar Microloan Initiative — Leveraging a Network to Reach India’s Most Isolated Region

In 2009, Friends of Women’s World Banking-India (FWWB-I), an apex microfinance organization, added energy access to its mandate when it collaborated with five partner institutions to launch a solar lantern credit initiative in the conflict-rife state of Manipur. This pioneering effort has helped catalyze the Indian microfinance sector to initiate energy-lending programs. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►