Power to the people

Power to the People – Investing in clean energy for the base of the pyramid in India

In recent years, a number of domestic companies have developed clean energy products and services specifi cally targeting India’s rural “Base of the Pyramid” population – the 114 million households who spend less than US$75 a month on goods and services. About 45 percent of these families do not have reliable access to electricity and rely on kerosene for lighting, while over 85 percent largely rely on fi rewood and dung for cooking. Successful (though small scale) business models such as solar-based home electricity systems and lanterns, energy-effi cient cookstoves, and electricity services generated from decentralized sources such as micro hydro and biomass gasifi ers are increasingly finding a market among such households.

India’s government has also facilitated the emergence of this rural clean energy sector by supporting distributed generation in the form of community-based, self-suffi cient biomass and solar power. Against this encouraging backdrop, this report by India’s Centre for Development Finance at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (CDF-IFMR) and the World Resources Institute’s New Ventures Program, seeks to enhance understanding of the investment potential of the clean energy industry serving India’s rural poor.

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