Microfinancing Solar Home Systems in Pakistan
In Pakistan today only an estimated 67% of the population is connected to the
electricity grid. This means that millions of people do not have access to
reliable and affordable electricity. This especially affects people living at the
Base of the Pyramid and in rural areas, as they need to spend a significant
amount of their limited budget on expensive and environmentally harmful energy
sources such as kerosene. The lack of (affordable) energy access keeps
economic development in Pakistan below its potential.
In order to address the issue of energy poverty in Pakistan MicroEnergy
International (MEI), in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für
Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund
(PPAF), is currently engaged in a project, which aims to expand off-grid
decentralized solar electrification throughout the country.
MEI consultants, together with a local partner organisation ’Partners in
Sustainable Development’ (PSD), are currently conducting field research in
three districts: Chakwal, Khushab and Thatta in the provinces of Punjab and
Sindh. The results of the field research will enable MEI to assess household
energy needs and gender-disaggregated income patterns, in order to deliver a
detailed demand assessment report.
This report will then serve as the basis for MEI’s development of the technical
requirements and quality standards for solar home systems (SHS), as well as
for the design of a microfinance scheme for their provision. By developing a
microfinance scheme with innovative, end-user oriented repayment schedules,
MEI aims to ensure that the technologies are affordable and accessible in the
poorer areas of Pakistan not currently being serviced by the national electricity
Finally, MEI is formulating recommendations in order to facilitate a national
implementation of the program. Recommendations are to be based on an
assessment of the institutional capacity of the PPAF and its partner institutes.
 International Energy Agency (2011), The Electricity Access Database 2011.