Fellows in the News

It can be hard to escape the buzz of the activity around energy access initiatives that have been launched by a variety of stakeholders in India. However, this hype often muddles the real story of how entrepreneurs and enterprises are succeeding or failing to distribute energy technologies across this vast country. The space for business innovation in the sector is promising, with a large market of unelectrified people (over 300 million) and government targets aimed at boosting solar technologies and achieving universal electricity access by 2019. Arguably, however, this promise is hard to deliver on due to a variety of factors that complicate the ability of a firm to achieve unit scale. Some of these factors, explored below, include the often-cited lack of end-user financing, the competition a firm may face from government programs to extend the electricity grid, and the types of products being sold. The result of an extensive survey of 69 off-grid solar energy enterprises reveals how such factors affect the scaling-up¹ (or not) of these technologies.

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