A leading Indian company in distributed utility mini grids in Asia and Africa, Husk Power Systems has announced that it has received $20 million in investment from Shell, Swedfund – a Swedish development finance institution – and Engie.
Husk says that this financial backing can enable it to accelerate its growth to develop more renewable energy-powered mini-grids and play its part in boosting the potential $190 billion mini grid market estimated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) up to 2030.
Built on the motivation that rural households cannot buy large solar home systems, Husk Power systems designs, builds and operates low-cost hybrid power plants, and manages a distribution network in Asia and Africa. The company also has a pay-as-you-go energy service that is a mobile phone-enabled smart metering system.
Husk is growing rapidly, and it is poised to add 300 mini grids over the next four years in India and Tanzania.
Manoj Sinha, CEO and co-founder of Husk said: “Together with strategic partners, we are now confident of achieving our vision of becoming the world’s largest rural utility company providing 24/7, 100% renewable and affordable power to drive inclusive and sustainable development in growth markets.” Sinha added that Husk believes that mini-grids are the most capital-efficient way to help reach 100% national electrification goals.
The investors, for their part, expressed solid belief in Husk Power Systems’ mini grid technologies. Brian Davis, VP Integrated Energy Solutions at New Energies at Shell believes in the credibility of the Husk’s business model, and thinks it can become a leading player in providing reliable and affordable energy to off grid and weak grid communities in India and Africa.
Gerth Svensson, CEO of Swedfund, added that they are pleased to be part of Husk’s expansion and that their long-term capital and extensive experience of evolving sustainable business will deliver multiple positive impacts to the society. He also said that access to electricity drives development.
Anne Chassgnette, Engie director of CSR and Vice President of Engie Rassemblurs d’Engie remarked that Husk’s business model is highly efficient and replicable. She said that its ability to provide productive use fits perfectly with Engie’s sustainable energy promotion.