The Powertrust Energy Network: Empowering MSME’s to business sustainability through renewable energy 11.02.2023

Our partner

OMC Power is part of the Powertrust Energy Network, delivering high impact renewable energy projects to our portfolio for our customers. OMC Power is driving economic development in underserved rural areas of India by providing access to reliable electricity. They have commissioned over 400 power plants, positively impacting millions of lives in India. 

The Project

Micro, small and medium enterprises make up a significant portion of India’s economy. However, the lack of reliable electricity is a considerable obstacle to their growth. Economic growth is highly dependent on energy consumption, and access to renewable energy provides a sustainable option for economic growth. 

Powertrust is partnering with OMC on a project to electrify Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) located in rural areas of Uttar Pradesh. Although the electrical grid extends to these villages, the power supply is limited and the residents often depend on diesel generators to operate their businesses. These diesel generators are extremely carbon intensive, and also very expensive for the entrepreneurs. These businesses primarily focus on agricultural, agro-processing and grinding mills. 

How is Powertrust revenue making a difference to the project? 

The average size of each project ranges between 10-25kW, creating an aggregated volume of 5000MWh coming from around 250 installations. OMC will use revenue from Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs) to manage the operations, monitoring and maintenance across all the installations. 

The Powertrust purchase also helps drive additionality. OMC will give around 66% of D-REC revenue to the MSME’s to contribute to their costs. Considering the high borrowing rates offered by micro-lenders to rural businesses, the supplementary income generated from D-RECs will help facilitate the adoption of solar systems. This additional income will enable small businesses to partially repay their debts using the revenue from D-RECs. Since many of these businesses operate seasonally, the extra revenue will act as a safeguard against loan repayment difficulties during slow periods. 

Learn more about OMC Power

Emissionality: Understanding a new key dimension for renewable energy. 06.18.2023

Emissionality helps differentiate between good and great renewable energy projects

What is Emissionality?  It’s the carbon impact of a renewable energy project, looking at the emissions it has replaced in the grid, or “turned off”. 

Emissionality is about taking into account not just the Zero emission electricity produced by a project, but also its avoided emissions.

For example, a project displacing energy from a natural gas plant is good.  A project displacing energy from a diesel generator is even better – because it drives down more CO2 emissions, and this is what drives the real climate impact.  

Emissionality is a critical factor because, at the end of the day, driving down actual physical emissions of Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the ultimate purpose of the energy transition. 

At the end of the day, driving down actual physical emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the ultimate purpose of the energy transition. 

The single biggest influence on renewables’ emissionality comes down to location. Where is this project being built? What energy system is it displacing? 

Some renewable energy projects have a larger impact depending on where they are built – for example, in India or Africa, in zones where power is generated through burning diesel or even coal.

Powertrust: Emissionality & Equity

  • Distributed renewable energy systems  are nearly peerless when it comes to avoided emissions. In developing markets, electricity often comes from diesel generators. This means that, per kWh, distributed renewable energy projects can displace up to seven times more carbon emissions than identical projects on the US grid.
  • Source: ifc.org 

Per kWh, distributed renewable energy projects in emerging markets can displace up to seven times more carbon emissions than identical projects on the US grid.

Powertrust sources projects that have the highest climate and social impact. What does this mean?

  • Some renewable energy projects displace more fossil fuels than others and others provide crucial support for their local community.  
  • We source projects which are displacing dirty fuels. 
  • We source projects in the Global South, where the social impacts are highest. 
  • We electrify schools, hospitals, health care centres and rural communities which have not had stable access to electricity. 

In 2020, Salesforce became the first corporate entity to publicly commit to evaluating avoided emissions as part of their renewable energy procurement decisions. They consider more than just megawatt hours in their renewable energy purchases.  We are delighted to be partnering with them on projects throughout Brazil, India, Sub-saharan Africa and SouthEast Asia. 

As a climate pioneer, Salesforce are committed to evaluating avoided emissions as part of their renewable energy procurement

Read more here: How Salesforce Used Emissionality to Inform its Groundbreaking D-RECs Procurement