With access to affordable, long-term finance still a challenge in India for last-mile energy infrastructure, creative solutions are seeing the light of day, including crowdfunding
German debt crowdfunding platform bettervest started by backing domestic renewable energy projects, but since 2015 has also focused on expansion into Sub-Saharan Africa and now India. Its first two investments in India, €400,000 split between Mera Gao Power and Boond Engineering, are already in progress.
Mera Gao is using the money to construct 200 micro-grids (each with 240Wp capacity), which will service 4,000 housesholds and 24,000 people in Uttar Pradesh state with 7 hours of power per day. Boond plans to build 24 micro-grids that are 1kWp each in capacity, with the aim of reaching 5,760 people in northern India with 24/7 power.
Fynn Hauschke of bettervest said that there is growing demand for crowdfunding from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Indian energy access sector, but the regulatory environment for debt and equity crowdfunding (also called “crowdinvesting”), as practiced by bettervest, is still unclear within India.