In 1995, Harish Hande founded the Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) to provide rural Indians with a reliable, ecological and sustainable source of energy based on a resource that is abundant in this country: sunlight. The challenge, however, is finding a skilled workforce to install the systems and adapt them to each client’s situation, as well as developing trusting relationships with the villages.
At first, the residents of the regions SELCO visited did not believe they could afford electricity at home. But through partnerships with nearby banks that have made credit available, more than 100,000 people now have access to solar energy due to the company’s efforts, enabling them to improve their quality of life. The initiative also represents a reduction of nearly 400,000 tons in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment by burning kerosene.