The economic conditions are not equally distributed. This is a global tragedy. Several homes are without basic amenities like lighting, water, education, health- care facilities etc. Even if the amenities are available, many households do not have the financial capacity to procure the services. it is a luxury they enjoy in their dreams. Lack of loans and other finance options is a big barrier for consumers to get clean energy products.
They are not being Ignored
It is not that the world is unaware of the plight of the deprived lot. Government and many NGOs are actively working on schemes, programs, and sponsors to reach to their help, but have not been 100% successful. Loans like microfinance and solar home lighting products are one option that is gaining popularity which is increasing the sales and allowing solar enterprises reach the end-user with low income.
MFI takes up home solar finance:
Microfinance institutions that have been financing a business grow, have now taken up the respo
nsibility of lighting up homes. They were away till date from the PAYGO (pay-as-you-go solar) but now that is changing building new prospects and challenges for other financial institutions that are already in the fray. Microfinance & solar home lighting companies have joined hands to electrify rural India and make lights at home and streets a reality.
Offsets the imbalance
Such loans will balance the high upfront costs that is otherwise associated with clean air technologies including solar energy. Although it is the largest expenditure in most households, the potential for energy lending has been underutilized till recent times. The solar energy market can be transformed if the end users can get access to financing options to buy the energy products and services.
New innovations in Solar Home Lighting (SHL)
With technology improving, new products and services are being developed and offered continually to the home solar systems to suit the needs of the low-income customers. Microfinance & solar home lighting has enabled energy access to remote villages that were inaccessible due to lack of lights and roads. The communities that are benefited now were in darkness as the diesel generators and other options were beyond their capacity. E-hands, Green Village Power(GVP), Cygni, Onergy in India, BBOXX in Kenya, SolarNow in Uganda are a few such solar organizations that have lit up many a home across their countries bringing a vast improvement in their living style and help lead a healthier life.
Prices today are ccoming down and more options being made available. It may soon become possible for people with every income level to soon take the step and move up the solar energy ladder. Micro-finance & solar home lighting service providers are gearing up to meet the likely demand by escalating the sales network with several new solar products to supplement the traditional products. However, this does not imply that every customer will find a loan that will suit their budget. A big challenge is to ensure the quality of products. A low-quality equipment can add more risks rather than benefit the consumer. Non-repayment of loans on time can lead to unpleasantness.