National Energy Globe Award India (overall winner)
Submitted by: UNEP Risoe Centre, Risoe National Laborartory, Denmark/Division of Technology, Industry and Economic
Implemented country: India
Title: Consumer financing program for solar home systems in southern India
In 2003 a four-year plan was launched in southern India to help establish a consumer credit market for financing solar home systems (SHS). The initiative is a partnership between UNEP, the UNEO Risoe Centre, and two of India’s largest banking groups. The program design involves an interest rate reduction, a direct support system of the market and a provider qualification process. Over the span of three years more than 16,000 Solar Home Systems have been financed through 2,000 bank branches and the interest subsidy has been mostly phased out. Although the solar home sector was pretty much a cash-only business in 2003, today over 50% of sales are financed and a number of other banks have now also entered the program. Therefore the construction of these units has increased significantly. This program received additional support from the UN Foundation and Shell Foundation.