Monday, 14 October 2013

Can the Indian corporate sector be the solution to the challenge of rural energy access?

How could partnerships between large corporates and small social enterprises in rural areas better address the issue of energy access? What are the experiences so far?  What could be the role of government and donor agencies to foster these types of partnerships?     

Participants at the consultative workshop in Mumbai 
In order to explore these questions, New Ventures India, on behalf of IGEN-RE, organized two stakeholder workshops on 2 August and 23 August in New Delhi and Mumbai respectively. The workshops brought together over 55 representatives from the corporate sector, social entrepreneurs, and financial institutions.  “It was a good opportunity to meet and learn initiatives of other organizations in the area of clean technology for rural homes.” said Mr. Ravi Shankar, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Rural Business, Fullerton India after the Mumbai workshop.
At the end of the two consultations, it is clear that there are three emerging areas where GIZ can strengthen the involvement of the corporate sector in the energy access space:
  • Developing an online platform to facilitate exchange between relevant social entrepreneurs and corporates to jointly design and implement projects on energy access.
  • Developing a repository of the different needs of rural energy enterprises, which can then be used to explore the potential linkages with suitable corporates.
  • Explore innovative mechanisms for utilizing corporate social responsibility funds to improve the energy access space.   
Participants at the  consultative workshop in New Delhi 
As a follow up, GIZ will facilitate matchmaking for new partnerships by publishing the profiles of the participating companies along with the contact details of key personnel. GIZ and MNRE would also explore opportunities to support some of the concrete cooperation ideas such as setting up a pilot of 50 solar water pumps in Odisha.

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