Mitra Ardron is CEO of Lumeter Networks, which is developing a variety of pre-paid electricity meters and cloud accounting services for renewable energy companies to build micro-grids and solar home systems (SHS) and extend service to the Base of the Pyramid. Renewable energy companies currently have trouble servicing this market because of the difficulty of managing small payments and the high degree of theft. Mitra spoke to Arc about how Lumeter has solved this through an ultra-low cost meter, which incorporates innovative tamper protection across micro-grids and facilitates pre-paid capacity for SHS as well.
Azuri Technologies: Pay-Go Innovations for Solar in Sub-Saharan Africa
The price of small solar systems in East Africa has fallen rapidly over the past decade, but US$70 for a two-light system is still too high for most off-grid households to pay upfront. It would be affordable for many more people with suitable financing to spread the cost, but microfinance isn’t always appropriate or available to fill this gap.
UK technology company Eight19 came up with an innovative way to spread the cost of a solar system: the Indigo pay-as-you-go solar home system that is activated by weekly scratchcard payments. The team spun out Azuri Technologies in August 2012 to promote Indigo in emerging markets.
Innovations in Financing Small-Scale Clean Energy I
September 20, 2013, New York, USA
Innovations in Financing Small Scale Clean Energy, a full-day workshop organized by Arc Finance in conjunction with USAID and Sustainable Energy for All, the Energy Access Practitioner Network, brought together practitioners, investors, academics, support organizations, technology manufacturers, and journalists for a series of sessions to discuss the innovations in financing now being deployed in the growing energy access economy. View videos from the event ►
EcoZoom Cookstoves: Leveraging Existing Networks as Distribution Channels to Bring Clean Cookstoves to Market
Ben West is the co-founder and CEO of EcoZoom: a for-profit, certified B Corp, social venture company selling affordable wood and charcoal-fueled, highly efficient cookstoves in developing countries. EcoZoom works to empower local workforces, economies and women while creating financially sustainable markets and connecting themselves to all parts of the value chain. The company has 15 staff, and offices in Portland, Oregon and Nairobi, Kenya. To date, the company has sold more than 90,000 units to 14 countries, with key projects in 5 countries.
Before founding EcoZoom with co-founders Amanda West and Phil Ferranto, Ben managed the complete turnaround of the social venture company StoveTec. Ben earned an MBA from the University of Oregon, and before attending graduate school, Ben ran a US$20m account with 6 office staff and 150 truck drivers within the US$1bn company, US Xpress. Ben and his team have just finished setting up their offices in Kenya, where he currently lives with co-founders Amanda and Phil.
Ajaita Shah & Frontier Markets: Building a Renewable Energy Distribution “Ecosystem”
Ajaita Shah is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Markets and the President of Frontier Innovations Foundation. Frontier Markets is a rural marketing, sales, and service distribution company that provides access to affordable and quality consumer durables to low-income households in India. Frontier Markets is currently operating in rural India and working primarily with clean energy products like solar lighting and smokeless stoves. With five years of microfinance experience in India with organizations like SKS Microfinance, and Ujjivan Financial Services, Ajaita has also worked on numerous development projects in seven Indian states.
Bringing light to Haiti, one solar lamp at a time
CBS Evening News
SEPTEMBER 8, 2013 | Three-quarters of Haiti’s population does not have access to their national power grid, but solar lamps are helping provide light to people in a nation with severely underdeveloped infrastructure. Jeff Glor reports. Watch video.