The Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO), India, was founded in 1995; at a time when in India approximately 610 million people were still living without access to electricity.
The objective of the social enterprise SELCO is to improve the living standards of poor household in remote rural India through access to solar energy and at the same time become economically self-supporting as a company. The enterprise started in the federal states of Karnataka, Andra Pradesh and Kerala with selling solar home systems through a Solar Service Center, today responsible for sales, installation and maintenance.
In order to reach people in poor households, it was necessary for SELCO to first install innovative and flexible financing schemes. Today, many families are able to buy their own solar home systems with the help of micro credits. They can secure their income by lighting their stalls or using light for their work at a sewing machine in the evenings.
Today, SELCO runs 25 solar service centers with local employees and at least two trained technicians on site to guarantee the installation and maintenance of the solar home systems and offer their customers extensive services.
Supported by Canopus
Canopus supported SELCO LTD, founded by Harish Hande, in gaining certified emission reduction (CER) credits for their solar home systems. The CER certification helps SELCO to verify that their systems contribute to reduce CO2 emissions. By selling these CER credits on the European ETS market SELCO is able to generate financial added value. In 2004, the foundation engaged 500ppm GmbH in Karlsruhe to document the average reduction of CO2emissions per annum gained through SELCO solar home system from 1998 to 2005, to make a projection for their entire technical lifetime and to accompany the certification process.