Across Asia and in other parts of the developing world, many villages still lack an adequate and reliable supply of electricity. Often governments cannot afford to help every isolated community and banks are reluctant to lend. But the local community might be able to put together enough seed money to kick-start a village-level energy project to improve their living standards and productivity.
Modest savings from villagers themselves, sometimes matched with domestic and overseas crowdfunding through the internet, and topped up with money raised using ADB’s new Green Finance Catalyzing Facility  or other global green funds  can be put into a special hometown investment trust  to fund renewable power systems.
Solar panels, wind turbines, and micro hydro are small-scale, cheap, clean and do not damage the environment or relocate villagers. Power can be stored using efficient batteries to assure a steady supply of electricity.
When the local energy project is completed, villagers can use the electricity to empower their lives and introduce modern conveniences such as air-conditioned health clinics and well-equipped schools. It might also be possible for villagers to sell any excess supply to the national power company or a nearby factory to earn a profit.
See how these innovative funds for renewable energy have already worked in Japan, Germany, and other developing countries. Follow more smart ideas to use green finance, clean energy, and solar power with Sohail Hasnie .
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