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Pollinate wins new investment towards lighting up Indian slums with solar

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Pollinate Energy, the award-winning Australian-founded social enterprise that is bringing solar power to the slums of India, has won new financial backing, with an investment from boutique fund Pangaea Impact Investments.

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Pollinate, which last year notched up its 10,000th slum dwelling switched from dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps to solar lighting, has been working in India since it was founded in 2012 by six young Australians.

The group’s innovative ‘Pollinator’ model, enables India’s urban poor to access solar energy, through an affordable weekly payment plan. After approximately 5 weeks of payments households own a solar lamp outright, guaranteed for 5 years.

The UN award-winning start-up also acts as a catalyst for the development of other social enterprises in Australia, through its International Fellowships (for University students and Professionals) program.

Pangaea – which focuses its investments on focuses on social enterprises seeking innovative solutions to humanitarian problems – said on Wednesday that it chosen to invest in Pollinate to support its “remarkable and multi-faceted” work, with benefits ranging from environmental to health and economic empowerment.

“This investment is critical in assisting Pollinate to scale our in-country resources that will further drive the long-term sustainability of the company,” said Pollinate co-founder and COO, Alexie Seller.

“Pangaea was an obvious choice for us. It is clear that we share a common mission in trying to build successful social enterprises and seed the next generation of social entrepreneurs.”  

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  • Brunel

    This sounds like solar panels atop street lights.

    Is there a battery involved?

    • Kenshō

      My guess is there’s a solar panel, a regulator (makes the varying DC suitable for charging a battery), the 12V battery, then the 12V DC globe, 12V mobile phone charger, even a 12V portable fridge etc. At least that would be the cheapest and most simple way to do it I reckon. Although I’ve never seen a DC globe like the one pictured? Surely there is no inverter. That would add unnecessary cost. It’s the type of solar system we use in an RV or a cabin in the bush or a man shed in the backyard with no AC cable to it.

  • Jamie

    Hi Guys, its a small 5w panel, 12v DC charge controller and lithium battery. It’s also very sturdy. Check out https://shop.pollinateenergy.org/shop/solar-light/sunking-pro2/…the price online is not the price sold to customers…