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.
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.
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 conducted market research for a project, led by Gaia Consulting Oy, designed to test remittances as a means to finance energy efficiency products and technologies in Bolivia. The overall goal of the project was to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions, improve resilience of low-income households to climate impacts on the energy sector, to reduce the cost for energy in urban and rural low-income households, and to raise awareness about cleaner and less energy intensive energy sources.
In partnership with the Basel Agency for Sustainable Energy (BASE), Arc implemented a project funded by the World Bank/IFC to increase access to clean rural electrification in Latin America. Arc analyzed the business models of three Latin American organizations active in the energy sector (Emprenda in Peru and Argentina, Ecami in Nicaragua, and IDEAAS in Brazil) with the goal of improving the existing business models through introducing additional products and services, promoting alliances with financial institutions, and suggesting new financing mechanisms such as carbon finance, thereby facilitating expansion and replication.
Simpa Networks uses asset finance to provide electricity to off-grid rural communities through modular, expandable Solar Home Systems (SHSs). With the same pricing structure that first allowed the poor to access the mobile phone, Simpa removes the financial barriers that leave energy services inaccessible to the bottom of the pyramid. 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 [...]
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. ►
This fact sheet provides an overview of Arc’s Finance’s partner Sogexpress’ new initiative, Klere Ayiti, which seeks to address energy poverty in Haiti. Klere Ayiti, a collaboration of Sogexpress with Western Union, has created a new online platform to enable the Haitian diaspora to use remittances to finance renewable energy products for relatives in Haiti. View our Fact Sheet (PDF). ►
SolarNow uses asset finance to provide electricity to off-grid rural communities through modular, expandable Solar Home Systems (SHSs). The SolarNow approach is to integrate an increasing range of energy efficient appliances into the company’s product line, a tactic that both improves lives and increases demand for its energy systems. Established as a social enterprise in May 2011, SolarNow grew out of the Rural Energy Foundation, a Dutch run NGO providing distribution and training support for the use of SHSs across Africa. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►
With assistance from Arc, Sogexpress, a Money Transfer Organization, has tapped into the multi-billion-dollar remittance stream from the Haitian diaspora to supply small-scale clean energy solutions to Haitians lacking energy services. In this Briefing Note, read a synopsis of Sogexpress’ pioneering remittances model, which is successfully supplying solar products to those who need them most. Read our Briefing Note (PDF). ►
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). ►
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 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). ►
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). ►
Haiti has one of the lowest electricity access rates in the world, with only 12.5% of its population legally connected to the grid. Remittances offer a new solution for helping to finance the purchase and distribution of energy devices. Given its energy needs, and the size and location of its diaspora-based population, Haiti was an ideal country to test a remittances-backed business model for clean energy. The model uses remittance flows to facilitate the purchase and distribution of small-scale renewable energy devices, thereby fostering the use of clean and efficient energy technology among the energy-poor. Read our Case [...]
Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), an MFI based in the Philippines, launched energy operations in 2009. Since then it has continuously modified its approach, experimenting with new methods of engaging its staff and clients to realize its impact objectives. This case study surveys a sample of the key adaptations that the organization has made to increase impact and sales, as well as improve the long-term sustainability of its program.
The Buksh Foundation, a Pakistani MFI, takes a unique approach to addressing a critical need that is faced by virtually all of its business clients: lack of access to reliable and affordable electricity. In 2010, the organization began to explore clean energy finance as a solution to this escalating challenge. Today, Buksh Foundation’s solar loan program is taking direct aim at the problem, and has emerged as the fastest growing area of its portfolio. Read our Case Study (PDF). ►
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). ►
2009 Arc Finance / BASE Arc Finance, BASE, and the Mexican market research firm Mercaei collaborated on a research project to assess the feasibility of using remittances to finance renewable energy products. Through market research with Haitian and Dominican immigrants in the New York area, the project team identified a number of promising business models for financing and distributing sustainable energy products, developed a strong network of distribution partners, and built a comprehensive understanding of the energy sector in Haiti. This report, commissioned by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, summarizes the findings. Read our report (PDF). ►
The Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) is a one of the Philippines’ oldest and largest microfinance institutions, serving nearly 140,000 clients across the nation’s central island region. Among institutional practitioners of energy microfinance, NWTF is notable for its inventive, trial-and-error approach to problem-solving and program development, and its patient, long-term commitment to building a strong, high impact and commercially sustainable model. In this episode, Raymond Serios provides a nuts and bolts account of how the MFI draws on experimentation, client feedback and a close study of the evolving clean energy market to adapt and build its successful energy lending [...]
Stima Systems is a Kenya-based energy startup that delivers affordable lighting and charging services to low-income off-grid customers using a distinct payment model: the group microlease. In this conversation Stima CEO Konrad App shares the origins of Stima’s model and provides insights into the power of groups to expand access and support commercial viability. Download this Podcast. ►
The Buksh Foundation is a microfinance institution based in Lahore, Pakistan. In 2010, the organization piloted a clean energy loan program to help business clients better cope with Pakistan’s escalating electricity crisis. In this episode, CEO Fiza Farhan discusses the MFI’s vision of expanding energy access, and the diverse activities – including product design –that it engages in to realize it.