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PayU India to power India’s rural banks with new climate finance mechanism

By Leandra Monteiro

June 23, 2023

  • Climate Finance
  • Corporate Climate Action
  • D-RECs
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PayUAs momentum for greater corporate climate action grows, PayU has shown its commitment to sustainability and financial inclusion across India by procuring Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs) from high-impact solar projects electrifying rural banks across the country.

D-RECs are an innovative climate finance instrument that are accelerating the energy transition, increasing local clean electricity supply, boosting transparency, and transforming corporate green energy procurement. D-RECs have a key role to play in India. Due to erratic power supplies, banking in rural areas can often be a difficult if not impossible affair for many rural communities in India, with one-fifth of Indian adults reportedly not having a bank account.

E-Hands Energy, a Chennai-based provider of renewable energy solutions in rural India, recently completed a programme providing solar solutions to over 920 rural banks in India, helping bring financially excluded rural Indians into the formal banking system by ensuring the banks remained operational throughout the day despite regular power cuts. The D-RECs purchased by PayU will be certifying the renewable electricity generated by a selection of these rural banking renewable energy projects, supporting financial inclusion across the country.

D-RECs extend the impact of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) – a widely used market instrument – to smaller projects with limited connection to the grid and/or limited access to affordable finance, such as E-Hands Energy’s banking programme. By purchasing D-RECs to settle 89% of PayU India’s electricity consumption, the company is providing climate finance for further E-Hands Energy renewable energy projects with an installed capacity of over 390 KWp for 220 villages across India. These projects will displace polluting grid and off-grid energy generation, such as diesel generators and grief-based electricity, from across India.

Mohit Gopal, COO at PayU India, said, “D-RECs offer an innovative and verifiable platform to accelerate affordable and clean energy access for underserved communities of India. As part of the Prosus’ family of companies, our multi-year partnership with the D-REC Initiative shows our commitment to transition to a greener economy that is not only inclusive, but offers a reliable banking experience to rural Indians, bringing more people into the fold of the organised financial services sector.”

Raghuraman Chandrasekaran, founder and CEO of E-Hands Energy, said, “The monetisation of our projects via DRECs are extremely important for us, as we can now accelerate the deployment of solar to more rural sites with the help of DRECs sold to reduce our capital expenditure on setting up new financial inclusion projects in the future.”

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