Arc Finance is the implementing partner for 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. The program was launched by USAID in July 2012 in partnership with the Ministry of Power (MOP) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India to support clean energy deployment and scale-up in India. The PACE-D TA Program has three key components: improving end-use energy efficiency; increasing supply of renewable energy; and accelerating deployment of clean and efficient fossil technologies. The aim of the Renewable Energy Component of the Program is to put in place effective institutional and capacity-building mechanisms to scale up renewable energy deployment in the field. One of the critical interventions identified to achieve this is the Micro Finance Support Program (MSP).
The key objective of the MSP is to enhance access to clean energy sources for rural and urban communities through the use of financial inclusion mechanisms such as microfinance, and the MSP aims to achieve this objective by providing Technical Assistance (TA) to MFIs. The TA package includes facilitating partnerships between MFIs and renewable energy equipment/technology suppliers; training and capacity building of MFIs (including business plan and strategy development, operational plan development, as well as pilot and scale-up); and linking MFI partners with potential financiers. Note that the program only provides in-kind TA support and does not entail any types of financial support. After extensive consultations with microfinance institutions, renewable energy companies and other stakeholders, the PACE–D TA Program now plans to extend TA to MFIs in India, with a particular focus on Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar, where there is strong demand for renewable energy technologies in off-grid areas.