Saturday, December 30, 2006

Solar Power to the People

Solar power and bank loans to poor people are bringing light to rural India. An excerpt from the Business 2.0 story:

These were not the most obvious customers for Harish Hande, a 37-year-old engineer with a dream of selling solar power, not least because they seemed unable to pay for it. But Hande and his solar energy company, Selco India, realized that the rose pickers were prime candidates for solar-powered headlamps and partnered with local banks to help the workers get loans to buy them. Wearing the charged lamps in the predawn darkness, the pickers can work with both hands; they've doubled their productivity and boosted their take-home pay and now have enough income to start paying down the headlamp loans.

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