Providing low-income households with energy
TECNOSOL, a small Nicaraguan energy company, partnered with the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) to pioneer a viable business model and serve low-income populations with limited or no access to the energy network by providing long-term financing for the purchase of solar panels. The scalable effort reached remarkable results, installing over 45,000 solar panels, saving 11 million liters of kerosene and 26,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The company now operates 17 rural branches and is expanding into Honduras and El Salvador.
The MIF had previously indirectly supported TECNOSOL with an equity investment in a renewable energy fund, E+CO, which provided its first loan to TECNOSOL in 2003. For the Solar Power for the Rural Poor project in 2006, the MIF tested the proposed financing model that included a loan used to provide solar electricity to 900 families (4,500 people) living in rural, isolated areas of Nicaragua, credit lines to 10 new TECNOSOL distributors and inventory purchases for two remote branches. The project also included a grant to strengthen TECNOSOL’s technical and operating capacity.