Panchabuta has often opined, that the off grid solar opportunities are much bigger than the utility scale solar power projects that seem to usually get all the attention.
Innovative solutions need to be developed in clean energy in the offgrid and micro-grid applications for electricity and cleaner safer fuels, where these solutions address what is called the “energy poverty” which we believe is more “energy availability” as applicable to India.
Such solutions not only have an economic impact on rural India but also far-reaching social impacts as can be seen by the early success of the solar lantern companies with traditional distribution models. This we believe is the “cleantech rural 1.0 solutions” in India and their early success has provided the platform for developing “cleantech rural 2.0 solutions ”.
This model will be evolved by innovative cleantech-clean energy solutions providers in conjunction with rural and social networks as a financing and distribution partners that not just help but participate in the scalability of such solutions.
Simpa Networks is a start-up technology company with a bold mission: to expand clean, safe, and sustainable energy services to 20 million people by 2020. Simpa is developing a product and business model that will make sustainable energy choices “radically affordable” to the 1.6 billion Base of the Pyramid (BoP) consumers who currently lack access to electricity.
Simpa Networks designs and markets high quality solar home systems that are sold on a pay-as-you-go basis to households and small businesses at the base of the economic pyramid.
Synapse founded in 2001 and headquartered in Seattle, Washington, solves the most difficult engineering challenges from concept through manufacturing for the leading consumer electronics and life-sciences companies in the world.
Synapse Product Development engineers are currently helping Simpa Networks realize their idea to bring clean, safe, and sustainable energy services to 20 million people by 2020 through a pay-as-you-go in-home solar energy system.
“We are always looking for ways to work with Clients whose values are culturally similar to ours,” said Chris Massot, Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Synapse. “Working with Simpa is a wonderful opportunity for us to use technology to promote the expansion of sustainable energy.”
Synapse designed and built the Simpa Regulator™ prototypes currently being tested with customers in Bangalore, India. The Simpa Regulator™ hardware platform enables the Progressive Purchase™ pricing model by metering and adjusting electricity availability in response to the entry of payment codes by customers. The result is a secure, low-cost, intuitive, rugged, and tamper proof device that allows Simpa to test and prove their new pricing model with real customers, giving them valuable new information about customer needs and desires.
“Our engineering team developed a cost-optimized hardware platform in a tamper-proof enclosure running an encrypted payment entry and validation scheme,” said Cameron Charles, Project Manager at Synapse. “This has been a great opportunity for our team to design something for a set of users who would not normally have access to this type of product.”
Nearly 1.6 billion people lack access to electricity, and another one billion lack reliable grid connections. Most rely on traditional fuel such as kerosene for lighting and often need to travel great distances for services such as mobile phone charging. These energy expenditures can consume up to 30% of household income.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Synapse through this critical phase of development,” said Paul Needham, President of Simpa Networks. “Their team was able to understand our requirements and develop a solution that was ready for installation in customer homes. Based on our synthesis of customer feedback, Synapse was able to quickly turn around new iterations of our Simpa Regulator™ which were back in front of customers right away for real-time testing.”