Microfinance and Renewable Energy – Investing in a Sustainable Future
WISIONS is an initiative of the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, carried out with the support of the Swiss-based foundation Pro-Evolution, to foster practical and sustainable energy products. WISIONS aims to promote good practice in resource efficiency through its publication of relevant successful projects in its Promotion of Resource Efficiency Projects: PREP. It also provides consulting and support to ensure the potential seen in visions of renewable energy and energy efficiency can become mature projects through its Sustainable Energy Project Support: SEPS.
This WISIONS brochure focuses on the microfinance of renewable energy systems. It notes that whilst improved energy services do have many quality of life benefits, the productive use of electricity can also help reduce poverty – leading to increased profitability and productivity for micro, small and medium enterprises, and cottage industries.
It highlights further that the remoteness of rural locations usually makes an expansion of the electricity supply in those areas through centralised grid system difficult; therefore people not connected to the grid often rely on expensive fossil fuels such as diesel and kerosene. In remote areas, people often do not have the financial means to afford renewable energy.
In this brochure, WISIONS presents projects from Peru, South Africa, China and Nepal that have been successfully implemented, with the intention of further promoting the particular approaches used by these projects. Using a key number of internationally accepted criteria, the main consideration for the selection of the microfinance projects was the inclusion of renewable energy technologies like solar/photovoltaic systems, wind energy and hydropower biogas used for cooking lighting, power telecommunications equipment, radio, television, household electrification, health clinics, water pumping, milling and grinding, water disinfection, fencing, computer education, machinery operation, etc. in households or businesses.