We are delighted to announce that as of April 30th 2016, Arc’s USAID-funded Renewable Energy Microfinance and Microenterprise Program (REMMP) has passed the milestone of 200,000 sales of energy products. That equates to over 1 million people benefiting from clean energy in five countries – India, Uganda, Haiti, Kenya and Nepal.Read
The 200,000 customers – of which 67% are women – have received access to products such as solar lanterns, solar home systems (SHS) and efficient cookstoves under a range of consumer financing mechanisms which seek to bridge the affordability gap inherent in providing products like these to the poor. REMMP has also addressed distribution challenges posed by the “last mile” through promoting “supplier” financing mechanisms.
These financing mechanisms range from different microfinance loan models built and expanded under REMMP by Arc’s MFI partners, to asset finance offered by energy enterprises, remittances from migrants, and trade finance for agents conducting cash sales. Arc’s goal under REMMP remains to pilot, test, evaluate and scale different financing mechanisms for distributed renewable energy products (such as small-scale solar for off-grid households) and in doing so, pave the way for commercial scaling of this sector by demonstrating the viability of these models.
In order to facilitate sales, REMMP partners have disbursed over US$13 million in loans and over US$29 million in investment has been leveraged under the program. Over 37,000 tonnes CO2e has been displaced by the clean energy products sold and the equivalent of 2.1MW of solar capacity has been installed. A recent annual phone survey reveals 98% product satisfaction among clean energy customers, and 87% likelihood to recommend the product to friends or family.
After spending several years laying the groundwork through capacity building, partner and product evaluation, and all of the other critical steps to building local capacity – mostly from scratch – REMMP is seeing sales accelerating. In fact, the milestone of 100,000 clients reached was just passed in July 2015. REMMP expects even more rapid scaling in the coming months as the affordability gap for clean energy products continues to narrow through the hard work of our partner organizations.