Australian Company Tackling Energy Poverty With Solar

In India, 306 million people don’t have access to electricity. An Australian company is helping to address this issue via solar power.
Pollinate Energy is a ‘social business’ supplying low cost solar and other appliances to Indians with an entrepreneurial spirit. These entrepreneurs, called “Pollinators”, start their own business operating in impoverished communities in Bangalore; the third largest city in India.
One of the products they offer is the Sunking light, which comes with a small detachable solar panel. Accredited by IFC’s “Lighting Africa” quality standards, it offers four modes: torch, desk lamp, room light and hanging light. The other product is a low cost, low pollution cookstove.
According to the company’s web site, more than 5,600 systems have been sold; benefiting nearly 28,000 people. 226,334 liters of kerosene has been saved and around 543 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided. The financial savings for owners of the systems are impressive; estimated at 10.23 million rupees (approximated AUD $181,400 at current exchange rates). Many of the families using equipment kits earn a pittance – the poverty line in India’s cities is 47 rupees a day; around 83 Australian cents.
Currently just operating in Bangalore, by the middle of next year Pollinate Energy hopes to have expanded into two new cities and ultimately to have a presence in every tier-one city in India.
Australians can get involved with Pollinate Energy by donating their time and skills or financially. Solar lights can also be purchased from the company and 50% of every sale will go towards bringing clean energy products to India’s poor urban communities.
A simple light can make a huge difference to a family’s life – particularly one that doesn’t emit noxious fumes into a space that may just be a tent. 
Another Australian company we’ve covered in the past bringing solar light to the poor is Illumination Solar.