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Overview: NOMAP’s Productive Use Pilot

Financing options for productive use is limited and come at high cost to end users. Although there are a few interventions offering grants, these funding opportunities are time-bound and cannot commensurably scale to meet the fast-growing demand of newly electrified communities for productive appliances. NOMAP is implementing a pilot to test the viability of a finance vehicle for productive use at select mini-grid sites at “friendlier terms” than prevailing market rates offered by commercial lenders. NOMAP is on-lending to solar mini-grid developers (SMDs) for the purchase of productive use appliances at concessionary interest rates which will be provided to productive community users under a lease-to-own arrangement. The fund is channelled through a licensed Fund Manager who manages the operationalization of the fund. NOMAP is working with three mini-grid developers across multiple sites in three states to test out the financing model. Learnings from the pilot will be shared with sector actors and will inform the development of a sector-wide fund for productive use financing.

NOMAP provides the sum of USD 240,000 through a fund manager for the purchase of PU assets at concessionary rates (8% per annum). NOMAP provides overall pilot oversight and will share lessons learnt with potential funders and sector stakeholders to inform the development of a larger impact fund for productive use appliances. Cowrywise, the SEC-licensed Fund Manager, oversees and disburses the funds to the developers at concessionary rates (8% per annum) in local currency.

The equipment will be purchased from the Mini-grid developers by end-users under a lease-to-own arrangement at a maximum interest rate of 15%. Mini-Grid Developers will share data on loan performance, income generation, mini-grid utilization, and other data indicators required from the pilot. Mini-grid developers make repayments to the PU Fund on a monthly or quarterly basis.

NOMAP will measure the impact of the pilot on electricity consumption, revenue generation, job creation, livelihood improvement, gender and social inclusion, and other parameters. The primary objectives of the pilot are to,

  • Test that a market exists for debt financing of productive use assets outside of the existing options offered by microfinance and commercial banks.
  • Stimulate demand for electricity and solar mini-grid viability in communities powered by solar mini-grids through productive use assets.
  • Increase the income-generating capacity of newly electrified communities.
  • Attract debt financing for productive use asset procurement.
  • Develop a report that will highlight learnings, challenges, and key success factors to inform and increase private sector financing of productive use assets.

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