New Delhi: Non-profit organisation Climate Group today said the use of clean energy like solar power by 1.3 billion people without electricity across the world could save them USD 27 billion.
"The Climate Group calculates that if the innovative business and finance model identified by the project was scaled up to cover all the 1.3 billion people in the world who currently have no access to electricity, the world?s poor would be USD 27 billion better off," the organisation said in a press release.
According to the Global Off-grid Lighting Association's estimates, they currently spend an estimated USD 30 billion per year buying kerosene for lighting purposes. However, lighting bills from solar micro-grids, home lighting systems and hand-held lighting systems are known to be over 90 per cent cheaper.
Over the past two years, 60,000 rural villagers in four states in India have been connected to affordable, solar powered energy by international non-profit The Climate Group as part of an innovative program that could be extended to hundreds of millions of people in the developing world.
The Bijli (electricity) initiative is supported by local entrepreneurs in the states of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh and was set up with funding from the Dutch Postcode Lottery.
The organisation -which works in the US, China and Europe as well as India - said it left local people better off and that extending it could save as many as 1.5 million lives a year by cutting indoor air pollution from kerosene lamps.
The report -The business case for off-grid energy in India, published by The Climate Group in partnership with Goldman Sachs Center for Environmental Markets, concluded that the market size of the decentralized renewable energy sector will be USD 150 million by 2018, and that the market size for solar home systems will grow 60 per cent per year to reach a market size of USD 200-250 million by 2018.
With financing support, the estimate is that 7.2 million under-electrified households will be able to afford a solar home system by 2018.
Debt financing has been found to be the primary unmet need in the off-grid sector.
To build on the learning and help fill this critical financing gap, The Climate Group is seeking to create a debt fund to enable flexible and catalytic financing for the distributed renewable energy sector in India that will bridge the gap to mainstream financial institutions.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said ensuring access to affordable and clean energy is an essential part of the Sustainable Development Goals, it can improve health while fighting climate change and point the way towards lives of dignity for all.