India is among the leading countries in the world that have developed solar photovoltaic (SPV) technology and deployed a large number of SPV systems for various applications including solar home lighting systems. One of the barriers for expanding the market for solar energy products has been the lack of bank finance and reluctance of Indian banks to lend for solar energy products due to their nonfamiliarity with this technology and their perceived risks of making investments in this area.

SFCBI – ( Solar Finance Capacity Building Initiative)

The pilot project “Solar Finance Capacity Building Initiative” was funded by the Global Bureau and USAID (United States Agency for International Development). This project was targeted to train 1,000 branch managers of Indian commercial/ regional rural/co-operative banks in lending for the solar energy products and applications.

On May 25, 2001 a contract was signed between WINROCK International India, New Delhi and Bharathiya Vikas Trust, Manipal to conduct 10 branch managers training programme. It was envisaged to train 30 managers/officers per programme. The first training programme was conducted at Udupi on 9/6/2001.

As against the contracted 10 programmes, 11 training programmes were conducted – 8 programmes in Karnataka and 3 programmes in Kerala. The 11th programme was conducted at Karwar on 27.9.01. As against the target of 300 branch managers/officers, in all 425 managers/officers were trained.

While making the survey of the results of the branch managers training programme conducted under SFCBI as on 31.3.2002 , BVT received feed back from 57 trained officers. They financed 70 borrowers for the installation of Solar Home Lighting Systems in their houses to the tune of Rs. 11.55 Lakhs. The average size of the loan is calculated at Rs. 16,500/- per borrower. This has been considered by USAID as a success of the pilot project SFCBI.

Another batch of 20 training programmes were also conducted by BVT, this time conducting programmes in Andhra Pradesh and North Karnataka. These were conducted from the month of March 2002 to December 2002. Apart from this the training programmes were also conducted in New Delhi ( 22.3.2002), Hydrabad (8.4.02), Kolkata (15.5.02), Mumbai (6.6.02) and Bangalore (10.8.02).

The total number of the managers/officers trained in the SFCBI pilot project was 1,041. Over the period of next one year these trained branch managers financed installation of Solar Home Lighting Systems for more than 5,000 borrowers.

The first meeting of the CREI (Commercializing Renewable Energy in India Project) was held at Hydrabad on 14.12.01.

In appreciation of the excellent implementation of the project Sri. K.M. Udupa was given this citation / plaque.

The CREI Project – a joint effort of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), WINROCK International (WI) and WINROCK International India (WII) is aimed at strengthening local entrepreneurial capacity for sustained commercial operation of rural energy enterprise that harness renewable energy technologies (RETs) to service productive use of applications.

The innovative approach of the CREI project shall help overcome barriers to development and mainstreaming of a set of renewable energy enterprise and projects in rural India. This project shall leave behind development capacity because it shall create a cadre of knowledgeable and trained entrepreneurs, financers who will form a strong body of human resources, which the state can bank upon for sustaining other developmental initiatives.

This is the basis for the next project namely SFCBA – (Solar Finance Capacity Building Alliance).

SFCBA – (Solar Finance Capacity Building Alliance)

In view of the successful completion of the pilot project namely SFCBI in which more than 1000 Bank Managers of different banks financed for more than 5000 customers for the installation of Solar Home Lighting Systems, this project was awarded to BVT by WINROCK International India, New Delhi. Under the project, to begin with 4 Apex Conferences were conducted at Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai & Kolkata, in which more than 135 executives from more than 35 commercial Banks, Public Sector Banks & Grameena Banks participated. They were informed about the big task of conducting 22 Training Of Trainers (TOT) in 14 different states of India, conducting 200 Branch Managers Training (BMT) in 18 different states. Their co-operation was sought so that necessary officers/managers of their banks be deputed for these training programmes. These conferences were conducted in the months of March, April, May and September 2003. The conferences were conducted by WINROCK International India, New Delhi who is a partner of the alliance.


Propagation of Solar Energy