IFC Helps Simpa Scale up Mobile-Based Affordable Solutions for Clean Energy

New Delhi, India, November 26, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is advising local technology start-up Simpa Networks to expand a meter-based prepaid energy service using an innovative pricing system to provide half-a-million rural Indians access to affordable and clean energy over the next three years.

Rural consumers with low and uncertain incomes find it difficult to pay the upfront cost of a solar energy system. With IFC’s support, Simpa Networks is working towards enabling consumers and small businesses to access and pay for electricity based on actual use the same way they pay for cellular services using a mobile phone. Once a user has bought a solar system for a small initial cost, he can recharge it according to his usage need.

“We sell solar like prepaid mobile phone service,” said Paul Needham, President and co-founder of Simpa Networks. “In effect, we are replicating the successful prepaid, pay-as-you-go pricing plan, making it easier for everyone to adopt clean energy.”

Simpa’s solutions also help private sector companies deploying solar micro-grids and solar home systems. They are able to manage the risks of financing clean energy projects better, giving them greater access to finance to support scale-up of clean energy solutions.

Thomas Davenport, IFC Director for South Asia, said, “A user-friendly and innovative payment model like this is a big step in making affordable, clean energy a reality for thousands of Indians cut off from the power grid in remote parts of the country.”

Lighting Asia-India, IFC’s off-grid lighting program was launched in New Delhi in May 2012. It is being rolled out in partnership with the governments of the United States and Italy. This initiative aims to provide safe, clean and affordable off-grid lighting to two million people living in rural India over the next three years and avoid an estimated 64,000 tons of carbon emissions.

In New Delhi : Minakshi Seth
Phone: +91 11 4111 1000
E-mail : MSeth@ifc.org
In New Delhi : Mansi Joshee
Phone: +91 11 4111 1000
E-mail : TBahl@ifc.org