India Off-grid Energy Impact Competition 2016


The India Off-grid Energy Impact Competition took place in early 2016.  India has a vibrant community of competitive, motivated off-grid energy entrepreneurs.  This competition was designed to highlight examples where the off-grid energy they provide has acted as a catalyst for development in remote villages.

Companies from throughout India applied to the competition and Smart Villages invited Naturetech Infra (, Lytyfy ( and Gram Oorja (  to share the stage with us at the Lighting a Billion Lives convention in April 2016.

Naturetech was named the winner due to their achievements to date and potential for further impact in rural energy access.  By building microgrids in remote villages, Naturetech has brought light, internet and teachers to schools, it has enabled food processing and entrepreneurship, it has seen street lights bring safety where there was darkness.  Naturetech’s business model of combined CSR and sales revenue funding is both financially and environmentally sustainable and it has developed proprietary metering and anti-theft technologies that are both innovative and replicable.

Read about the Indian entrepreneurs


Naturetech Infra



Gram Oorja


 This competition sought to:

  • champion proven off-grid energy access programmes that are directly enabling development
  • support and promote validated strategies and technologies for rural energy access
  • create opportunities for funders and investors to back successful implementation approaches

The Challenge

Nearly all stakeholders agree that providing energy access to rural populations is critical for national development, but many questions remain on how to deliver these services to India’s diverse range of villages. Despite technological and financial innovation for off-grid energy services, distribution and implementation remain challenging.

This competition seeks to highlight sustainable examples where village-level energy access is being used as a catalyst for economic and social development in rural communities and to give energy entrepreneurs a platform to explain how they achieved this.

In the online application, we ask you to describe how your off-grid energy initiative has made a difference to an Indian village, demonstrating how energy access has enabled elements of a ‘smart village.’

Key Dates

Date Event
27 October 2015 Submissions open for Smart Villages Off-Grid Energy Impact Competition
18 December 2015 Closing date for first round of applications
January 2016 Finalists invited to complete second phase of application
25 February 2016 Winner announced and invited to attend the World Sustainable Development Forum
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