Improving Access to Modern Energy Services in Underserved Communities
USAID’s Renewable Energy Microfinance and Microenterprise Program (REMMP), led by Arc Finance, expands the availability of consumer financing for clean energy services and products, securing access to technologies that can improve the livelihoods and quality of life of low-income populations while at the same time helping USAID partners to reduce carbon emissions. REMMP focuses on household and community-scale renewable technologies for communities with low electrification rates, partnering with companies that manufacture and sell these products as well as with institutions that finance small-scale renewables.
Most of the renewable energy enterprises in the developing world remain limited in scale due to lack of end-user finance and challenges with distribution. REMMP is built on the premise that solutions that scale-up successfully share important attributes: an understanding of the interrelationship between finance, distribution, and technology; a tailored approach that takes account of market conditions and constraints; and the leveraging of existing financing and distribution channels for easier and quicker growth. All REMMP activities incorporate these elements to ensure the program achieves its objectives. Through REMMP, Arc Finance is:
Demonstrating the commercial viability of a range of consumer payment models
- Remittances: Financing for energy product is provided by family members in the diaspora via cross-border money transfers.
- Pay-As-You-Go: Financing is provided through a metering system that allows the end-user to pay for energy use in small increments.
- Crowd-funding: Pooled funds are provided by individuals via the Internet to support specific projects or organizations.
- Microfinance: Microfinance institution (MFI), bank or credit cooperative provides energy-related financial products to low-income consumers.
- Mobile Phone Networks: Bill payment/financing for clean energy is provided directly via mobile phone.
Facilitating investment for clean energy financing
Arc Finance provides the following services to project partners:
- Technical Assistance (for both MFIs and energy companies), with a primary focus on business model and product development, facilitation of public sector partnerships and investor engagement.
- Catalytic Grants that target specific, project-critical capacity and capital requirements that are necessary to advance core project objectives. These grants are tailored to the specific needs of the partner.
Improving the capacity of the private sector to finance clean energy
Arc monitors, documents, and promotes key lessons and best practices through an array of knowledge products with the aim of cultivating interest in rural energy finance among a broader audience of practitioners, investors and donors. Through presentations such as Arc’s recent Innovations in Financing conference in New York and participation in the Microcredit Summit in Manila, REMMP helps Arc make available expertise and information on the latest developments in these quickly growing fields. Additional resources are available on our website.