This online panel discussion at 3.30 UK time on Monday 9 June will explore the following questions:
Panelists include: Liz Grubin, Impact Carbon; Vincenzo Capogna, Sunny Money (Solar Aid); Sheila Oparaocha, Energia; Davinia Cogan, GVEP International; Gaurav Mehta, Dharma Life.
This is a text-only, written discussion. To post comments you will need to sign in / sign up to Business Fights Poverty. A list of recent comments is shown in the right-hand side bar and will refresh every 5 minutes. To refresh more often, please click on the refresh icon in your browser.
This event is part of the Business Fights Poverty Design Expo 2014. Running from 9 to 13 June, the Design Expo is an online celebration of products, services and business models transforming the lives of poor people. The Design Expo is a collaboration with iDE UK and is being supported by the UK's Department for International Development.
The Expo will include a vibrant mix of blogs, Google Hangouts, online panel discussions, a Twitter Jam and a virtual exhibition zone. Each day we will focus on a different sector: Energy (9 June), Health (10 June), Communications (11 June), Livelihoods (including enterprise, finance and agriculture) (12 June) and Water & Sanitation (13 June).
From Monday 9 June, you will be able to access all the activities via the Design Expo landing page, www.designexpo.businessfightspoverty.org. Participation in the Design Expo is free. You will simply need to sign in (or sign up for free) to Business Fights Poverty.
Welcome everyone to the first event in the 2014 Design Expo!
In this session, we are joined by an excellent panel to discuss Access to Energy.
This is a written discussion. So please go ahead an post your questions and comments!
Let's start with the first question:
Q1: What are the emerging technologies that have the potenital to transform access to energy in the future?
And are they already profitable / ready to be commercially implemented?
Yes understanding how far from market certain emerging technologies are, and what are the barriers to commercialisation would be super useful.
This may not be emerging tech but I have seen one example of a company not only offering high quality solar panels but also the financing to allow customers to afford it. - BBOXX.
Judging by their growth, they are likely to be profitable in the near future.
In SunnyMoney we saw how entry level Solar lights and (entry-level) Pay-As-You-Go or Pay-Per-Use solar products have a strong potential in extending energy access among the low-income population in developing countries.
That's a really great question, Gaston! We have a Google Hangout immediately after this looking at the business models that underpin design innovation.
These are both great questions, and critical for scaling up clean energy technologies. At Impact Carbon, one of our main areas of focus has been household cooking interventions, and have had real success scaling affordable, improved stoves that promote significant fuel savings for households in Uganda. Ability to pay up front remains a key barrier to a fully commercial approach. I’d be interested to hear about the experience others have had with providing financing for these types of products, and can share results of some of our efforts to do so.
Solar lights allow low income households to save large portion of their income (shifting from Kerosene or battery lights, etc to solar) and (for entry level lights) the pay back period can be lower that 2 months.
Nicole - thank you for your contribution. Can you share any more information? Even if you can't share the name, it would be interesting to hear a little more about their model.
These are reliable products (with 2 years warranty) and much brighter and safer that the current alternatives.
At Dharma Life in India we have tested consumer finance models with both MFIs and also direct lending models. There is very strong potential for both pay as you go models and also for consumer financed energy solutions
Vincenzo - when you first approach a community, how easy / hard is it to make that case? How do you go about building awareness and demand?