To meet the huge needs, particularly for rural communities who have difficult or no access to electricity, SIMPA Networks, an Indian start-up, has had the idea of offering individual solar kits.
These kits include one or several panels, with a capacity of up to 20 W. The panels supply electricity during the day, but are also connected to a battery which stores current during the day and takes over during the night to meet energy needs. Once the solar kit has been installed, it allows Simpa’s clients to benefit from lighting, recharge their mobile phones and connect small household appliances to it: ventilators, fridges, TVs...
The novelty of Simpa Networks especially lies in its payment model. “Our clients start by paying about two monthly instalments, then a monthly subscription until they become owners of their kit, after between one and three years”, explains Piyush Mathur, CEO of the company. “The electricity is then free and the equipment has a lifespan of almost 10 years”.
Over the past six months, the start-up has set up in 20 Indian districts (against 6 at the outset), in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Orissa. For the time being, Simpa has 40,000 kits installed, but hopes to install over 1 million over the next two and a half years, thereby reaching 5 million people.
To support this innovative start-up, PROPARCO became a shareholder of Simpa in 2016, alongside Engie and Schneider Electric, for example.