Greening Microfinance to Turn Waste Into Wealth
This note highlights efforts to scale up clean energy lending initiatives undertaken by Green Microfinance (GMf) partners in Kerala, India. GMf works with MFIs to help them provide clients with clean, renewable, locally based energy technologies. The paper describes two such GMf partnerships. The partnership between GMf and Wesco Credit has led to the development of a pioneering, durable solution to regional disease control and waste management. To deal with the outbreak of chikungunya fever, in Ernakulam, Kerala, Wesco Finance developed integrated waste management systems that included the promotion and construction of biogas plants, which generate clean energy as well as income for families. The partnership between GMf and the Evangelical Social Action Forum (ESAF) has ensured provision of alternative energy solutions to ESAF's 250,000 clients. After completing an energy demand study for its clients in three Indian states, namely, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand, ESAF has installed five biogas plants attached to institutions, restaurant, and hospitals. Through its partnership with GMf, it seeks to launch a long-term energy program, which will encompass a full range of appropriate energy options.