According to reports, IFC, part of the World Bank Group, and Delhi-based renewable energy company Minda NexGenTech today announced that they will be working together to provide off-grid lighting solutions based on renewable energy to over a million people in 1,500 Indian villages by 2016. This project is a part of IFC’s off-grid lighting program for Asia, being rolled out in India first in partnership with the governments of the United States and Italy.
With IFC’s assistance, Minda will design learning programs for rural entrepreneurs and consultative workshops for rural off-grid stakeholders. It will also study trends in energy consumption to develop a viable business model for off-grid solutions. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $1,000,000, which Minda will finance with a combination of equity, debt and third-party financing over the next year.
In the first year, the project will be rolled out in villages of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. “Our off-grid lighting initiative will serve as a model to address clean energy needs for the most vulnerable in rural India, women and children, while promoting local entrepreneurship and sustainable rural development. This partnership has the potential to transform the off-grid energy solutions market in India,” said Thomas Davenport, IFC Director for South Asia.