Two essential demands arise with the introduction of rural, PV-based electrification: on the one hand, it is necessary to develop instruments that are adapted to local conditions and easy to operate by what is in most cases a population that has had little contact with such technology. On the other hand, finance models must be worked out to first enable the end users’ purchase and sustainable operation of the equipment.
Various firms carry out market and country analyses for energy technology firms and financial institutions. They function as actual matchmakers when it is time to bring together investors, philanthropists, and practitioners and their various sets of expertise.
It comes as no surprise that the Fraunhofer ISE, founded in 1981, a daughter firm of the Fraunhofer Institute, with 930 employees, is able to provide the broadest palette of services. Their offer is thus also in demand among smaller institutions. However, in many projects, it is precisely smaller organizations that provide valuable services, too. MicroEnergy International, based in Berlin and founded in 2002, is especially active in Asia, Africa, and now also in Peru. Their clients are, in particular, MFIs for whom MicroEnergy International carries out market analyses regarding end users and evaluates suitable technology partners. They distinguish themselves mainly through their technology and product neutrality, and close cooperation with fifteen different universities, also in project countries. Arc Finance, which has been in existence for three years now, is likewise active in Asia and Africa, and focuses on dialogue between two sets of actors who don’t really understand each other—microfinance institutions and energy enterprises—in order to facilitate and create viable partnerships for sustainable rural electrification.
Source: sun-connect 5 | April 2011 (p. 10-11)