Member Highlights – January 2018

Efficiency for Access Coalition Re-launched to Accelerate Energy Access Through Efficient Appliances

During the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo in Hong Kong, the Efficiency for Access Coalition was re-launched with UK aid, Power Africa, Lighting Global, Rockefeller Foundation, Shell Foundation, Sida, EnDev, Good Energies Foundation, and more joining together to promote energy efficient appliances as a powerful catalyst to clean energy access.

The Efficiency for Access Coalition is scaling up and bringing together a range of programmes and support mechanisms to accelerate energy efficiency in clean energy access efforts, driving markets for super-efficient technologies, supporting innovation, and improving sector coordination. Super-efficient appliances and equipment – which offer the same energy services at lowest cost and resource – are already changing the lives of many.

A significant new contribution to the Efficiency for Access Coalition is the Low-Energy Inclusive Appliances (LEIA) program, funded by UK aid. LEIA is a research and innovation programme to accelerate the global market for highly energy-efficient appliances needed for clean energy access. Under LEIA, UK aid will provide £18 million over five years to accelerate the availability, affordability, efficiency and performance of a range of appliances and related technologies suited to developing country contexts.

Going forward, the Efficiency for Access Coalition will focus efforts on driving market scale in near-to-market off- and weak-grid appliance products, supporting innovation in horizon appliance technologies further from low income markets, and improving information and co-ordination among development sector and industry partners. It aims to achieve faster, higher-impact results by strengthening the coherence of support programmes aligned with the needs of consumers and the market, based on a range of consumer research and industry consultation mechanisms.

To learn more about Efficiency for Access Coalition, please visit

MPOWERD hits major impact milestones

MPOWERD is a company that creates clean energy products that are personal, well-designed and accessible to everyone, in the belief that in the face of global challenges, truly innovative companies have a responsibility to empower as many people as possible. A Certified B Corp with a uniquely integrated business model: the more consumers buy MPOWERD Solar lights in developed markets, the lower the costs, and the more focus they are able to give to helping underserved communities.

In 2012, MPOWERD created their first product: an inflatable solar light called Luci. Waterproof, durable, collapsible, ultra-light and long lasting, Luci was created specifically to empower those living in underserved communities. Since then, MPOWERD have impacted over 2.6 million lives and averted over 250,000 tons of CO2, have created a network with 500 plus NGO partners around the world and have seen their work expand to over 90 countries. They’ve also established a unique program through which customers can sponsor a light directly to one of their NGO partners called Give Luci.

“Impacting the human condition and the environment through these SDGs to the extent that we have so far is a material achievement, and this is only the beginning. We are actively seeking more NGOs, governments and corporations to join and act as implementation partners.” Said John Salzinger, Co-founder and CBDO

With the backing of esteemed impact equity firm The Builders Fund, MPOWERD tackles eight UN Sustainable Development Goals simultaneously: (3) good health and well-being, (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (7) affordable and clean energy, (8) decent work and economic growth, (10) reduce inequalities, (13) climate action and (17) partnerships for the goal.

Orb Energy Raises more than $15 Million USD from FMO and OPIC

Orb Energy announced today the company has raised more than $15 million USD in equity and debt to grow its in-house finance facility of rooftop solar for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in India and to further expand its Kenya operations.

The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) provided $4 million USD in equity, and Orb signed a loan agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) – the United States development finance institution – for $10 million USD in long-term debt. Funds will be used for growth of Orb’s unique in-house platform in India that provides finance to SMEs looking to reduce electricity costs through ownership of a rooftop solar system. The new funding now positions Orb for profitable growth in the rooftop solar sector in India. Orb expects its 15MW in annual rooftop solar system sales in FY 17-18 to more than triple growing to 50MW annually by FY 19-20.

Orb is a leading provider of solar energy systems, with more than 150,000 systems sold in India since 2006. Unique to the solar industry, Orb is vertically integrated, manufacturing its own solar photovoltaic modules and solar water heating systems in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Azuri Technologies Set for Growth with Innovative $20M Debt Financing

Azuri Technologies, a leading provider of PayGo solar products and services across sub-Saharan Africa, today announced the launch of its innovative $20 million off-balance-sheet debt financing program to provide working capital for the expansion of off-grid energy and service provision in East Africa.

The program will be deployed in phases during 2018. The first phase of $4 million, which has already been concluded, includes investments from the European Union program ElectriFI, alongside Azuri, and its investment partners, including impact investment platform TRINE. The initial phase will be deployed in Kenya, providing additional financing to enable Azuri to supply its PayGo solar systems, to tens of thousands more households across the country. Subsequent phases of the program will expand to other key territories in East Africa including Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

The PayGo sector is growing rapidly and its continued expansion requires access to substantial levels of commercial debt capital. The Azuri financing program allows commercial debt to be raised and secured against the future revenues of Azuri customers. This has been made possible by the strong track record of customer repayments for Azuri’s PayGo products. It also provides confidence to debt investors who are able to use Azuri’s detailed customer data to ensure the finance is duly deployed to intended customers and that customer receipts are appropriately secured. The multi-phase debt program will enable Azuri to work with a consortium of new sophisticated lenders to support expansion the sector.

Azuri’s CEO, Simon Bransfield-Garth, commented: “Completing the first phase of our receivables financing program is a major step for Azuri. The support of ElectriFI is a great vote of confidence in the opportunity in the African off-grid home solar sector as a whole, and in Azuri in particular. It will enable us to attract a new set of commercial investors to expand the impact of our work.”

Church Pension Fund invests $17 million in SIMA Off-Grid Solar and Financial Access Senior Debt Fund

The Church Pension Fund (CPF), a financial services organization that serves the Episcopal Church, announced today that it invested $17 million in the Social Investment Managers & Advisors (SIMA) Off-Grid Solar and Financial Access Senior Debt Fund I, B.V. The $75 million fund will provide loans to microfinance institutions, distribution companies, and manufacturers in the off-grid solar sector located in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

“This investment will enable customers of solar energy to lease on an affordable installment basis and will impact the lives of more than 1 million people while reducing carbon dioxide by 4 million tons,” said Asad Mahmood, CEO and Managing Partner of SIMA.

CPF, which has US$13 billion in assets, has also recently invested in the Developing World Markets’ Off-Grid, Renewable and Climate Action Impact Note. Social Investment Managers & Advisors vision is to make social investments an accepted asset class for commercial investors, thereby unleashing appropriate capital to grow profitable, responsible businesses that improve the lives of our low-income customers.

New Practitioner Network members

Welcome to our new members who have recently joined us:

Navjivan Foundation

University of Sussex

Brucken Bauen mit der Sonne

APERAS – Association for Promotion of Renewables and Sustainable Environment of Sao Tome and Principe


FOT-K Consortium

Eureka ESCO

GrunSpider Design Group