Around 1.2 billion people around the world have no access to electricity, and a further 1 billion have unreliable, intermittent energy access. The traditional solutions offered to this group are usually either inefficient and polluting diesel generators for energy or dangerous kerosene lamps for light. Solar systems and technologies can replace these fossil fuel solutions and can often do so in a less expensive, more reliable, and non-polluting way.
According to the industry’s standardized impact metrics, one household solar installation will typically deliver energy access for five people, offsetting 370kg of CO2 equivalent annual greenhouse gas emissions and save around $80 per household each year. This means children can study after dark, families avoid the fire and health risks of kerosene lighting, while new businesses can get started or stay open longer.
SunFunder aims to make this a reality for all communities., and their latest product, the Beyond the Grid Solar Fund (BTG Fund), is a $50 million fund that will grow and scale solar energy in off-grid and grid-deficit areas in Africa and South Asia. Over the past few year, SunFunder has made 98 loans to 30 solar companies in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, while maintaining a 100% repayment rate for investors and a default rate below 1%. To date, 2.7 million people have been directly impacted by SunFunder's financing of clean affordable solar power and as a result, 200,000 tons of CO2 has been avoided annually.
SunFunder has aggregated various forms of private and philanthropic capital to create the BTG Fund. LDF’s support into the Fund helps to lower the overall cost, which in-turn, allows SunFunder to loan capital at a lower rate to end-users. This means that off-grid residents are provided fair loan rates and terms to replace their dirty and inefficient diesel generators or kerosene lamps with clean, solar products.