PayU India’s New Climate Finance Mechanism Powers Rural Financial Inclusion, Slashing Electricity Emissions

PayU has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability and financial inclusion in India by procuring Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs) from impactful solar projects that provide electricity to rural banks. This move aligns with the growing momentum for corporate climate action and a just transition.

D-RECs are an innovative climate finance tool that accelerates the energy transition, increases local clean electricity supply, enhances transparency, and transforms corporate green energy procurement. In the context of India, D-RECs play a crucial role. Many rural communities in India face challenges in accessing banking services due to unreliable power supplies, resulting in approximately one-fifth of Indian adults lacking a bank account.

E-Hands Energy, a Chennai-based provider of renewable energy solutions in rural India, recently implemented a program that supplied solar solutions to over 920 rural banks. This initiative ensured uninterrupted banking services throughout the day, despite regular power cuts, thereby facilitating financial inclusion for rural Indians. PayU’s purchase of D-RECs will certify the renewable electricity generated by selected projects within this rural banking renewable energy program, further supporting financial inclusion across the country.

D-RECs expand on the impact of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), a widely used market instrument, by catering to smaller projects with limited grid connectivity or limited access to affordable finance. This includes E-Hands Energy’s banking program. By procuring D-RECs to cover 89% of PayU India’s electricity consumption, the company is providing climate finance for additional E-Hands Energy renewable energy projects. These projects will have an installed capacity of over 390 KWp, benefiting 220 villages across India. By displacing polluting grid and off-grid energy sources like diesel generators and kerosene-based electricity, these projects contribute to cleaner energy generation in India.

The D-REC Initiative, which serves as the secretariat managing D-RECs, has collaborated closely with the International REC (I-REC) Standard to develop an open technology ledger. This collaboration ensures that buyers like PayU can have confidence in the origin of their certificates and provides robust metrics for corporate reporting on renewable energy procurement targets.

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.”

Leave a Comment