Enhancing livelihoods by addressing energy gaps through affordable and sustainable DRE solutions
Sustain Plus’s focus is to enhance rural productivity and income by reducing drudgery, improving health, and increasing time efficiency through affordable and easy-to-use DRE solutions. By making renewal energy accessible to the poor, the program enables rural and tribal communities to improve processes, creates new entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals and community-based institutions, and accelerates the availability of options for technology solutions that safeguard the environment.
Together with its grassroots partner network, Sustain Plus addresses identified energy gaps in the farm and non-farm value chains using community-centric, sustainable, and scalable programs. These programs are designed to integrate DRE solutions in existing and new productive processes via implementation models that empower the communities to gain long-term benefits. Sustain Plus’s work is spread across a range of productive value chains and activities that include agriculture, livestock management, rural mobility, and enterprise development.
Even though India is the third largest energy market globally, access to energy within the country is still inequitable with millions of people remaining off-grid, especially in rural India. Due to the lack of reliable grid access and the use of out-dated tools and methods for productive activities, rural communities continue to incur high costs in labour-intensive and low technology livelihood practices. This is a significant and critical impediment to rural development and sustainable livelihoods.
Recent solutions to address the energy and livelihood gaps have focused on creating innovations that are centralized, large-scale, and technology driven. Though localized technology innovations are also becoming available, there is a lack of support at the entrepreneurship level for on-ground technology validation especially in remote regions, absence of patient capital to help enterprises tide over the delay in financial returns, and lack of business models to cater to specific geography and community needs.
Farm and Non-farm Livelihoods Value Chain
- Leverage government schemes
- Unlock funds from institutions such as rural cooperative banks, micro-finance institutions, and nationalized banks by de-risking technology
- Support grassroots enterprises or technology vendors
- Establish delivery enterprises or system integrators
- Enable value-added products through technology vendors
- Improve price by linking with corporate buyers and e-commerce platforms or by selling directly to mandis and producers’ organizations
Sustain Plus helps unlock financing opportunities by minimising the risk on new DRE technology, encouraging financial institutions to extend affordable loans, and engaging its partner network to enable high repayment rates. It endeavours to establish credit lines through solution providers by making solutions more affordable for end users. Sustain Plus also leverages its stakeholder network to facilitate and establish initial market linkages in order to increase process efficiency and create value-added products at the village/cluster level.