ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies

Investment in Rural Spark start-up

Created as a start-up in 2011, Rural Spark uses its innovative skills to provide sustainable energy mini-networks to rural communities in India, beginning with the state of Bihar. It helps rural communities to replace energy generated from fossil fuels with power from renewable sources, at the same time as helping local economies to develop by appointing selected micro-entrepreneurs as Local Energy Suppliers to generate, use and sell energy. By exchanging surplus energy with other Local Energy Suppliers in the network, supply is balanced with demand. ENGIE Rassembleurs d’Énergies invested in this company in 2013.

Investment in Green Village Ventures company

Green Village Ventures (GVV) is an Indian company that promotes access to energy through the provision of solar power kits for rural communities in the states of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Following the development of several pilot sites, the project is now ready for large-scale rollout. In doing so, it can rely on substantial strengths that could enable it to achieve rapid success in the Indian market: the company is organized on the basis of an innovative business model (it is partnered by India Post), and run by a competent and experienced management team. GSRE has made its investment in conjunction with the teams of Grameen Crédit Agricole.

Investment in the social company Simpa Networks

Formed in 2011, Simpa Networks is a social enterprise selling domestic solar power systems in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India. Its prepayment system enables even the poorest users to access energy: after a low initial payment, consumers recharge their energy systems whenever they wish by using a system unlocking code. After about two years, they own the unlocked system. Simpa Networks is also supported by a local distribution structure run by local entrepreneurs.

Donation to Friendship

Set up in 1998 by Runa Khan, Friendship is an NGO dedicated to supporting underprivileged communities in Bangladesh through the provision of healthcare, assistance with home reconstruction, literacy education, and agricultural, craft and citizenship training. As part of its partnership with the Friendship NGO, the Group Corporate Foundation is supporting a pilot program to promote access to electricity for impoverished communities living on the islands of the Brahmaputra river, with technical support from Energy Assistance France volunteers. The goal of the program is to identify reliable solutions that meet the expectations of those involved, and to put in place a financial program for deployment.

Donation to the Stiftung Solar Energie foundation

Stiftung Solar Energie is a foundation that promotes rural development and solutions to poverty by providing solar power to off-grid communities. Its 'Light for Education' project aims to install 'libraries' of solar-powered lamps. Every evening, schoolchildren borrow the lamps and take them home to provide enough light to study by after nightfall. The Group Foundation is supporting the process of equipping five of these solar libraries, which together benefit around 3,000 schoolchildren.

Investment in Mera Gao Power

Mera Gao Power builds, owns and operates the world's most affordable microgrids, and meets the essential energy needs of off-grid communities at competitive cost. MGP's target customers live in isolated rural hamlets with less than 100 homes, where income is around $50-$80 per family and there is no hope of a mains grid connection. The MGP business model is easily reproducible.