The World Bank Group's commercial lending arm International Finance Corporation will provide advisory assistance to renewable energy company Minda NexGenTech to provide off-grid renewable energy power to over a million people in 1,500 Indian villages by 2016.
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 as part of its 'renewable energy power generation' initiative.
''Once fully scaled, this programme could substantially change decentralised distribution and access to energy by providing rural electrification using renewable energy in a manner largely unexplored so far,'' said N K Minda, chairman of Uno Minda Group, parent company of Minda NexGenTech, set up as an integrated, end-to-end power solutions and renewable energy company focusseed on providing light to rural areas through financially viable and sustainable business models..
Through off-grid power generation facilities using mini and micro-grid power plants, Minda will provide energy access to areas and communities located away from the power grids. In the first year, the project will be rolled out in villages of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
Thomas Davenport, IFC director for South Asia, said, ''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.''
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. The Indian government supports this initiative to provide safe, clean and affordable off-grid lighting to two million people living in rural India over the next three years and avoid an estimated 64,000 tons of carbon emissions.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. It aims to help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilising capital in the international financial markets.