ON/OFF : The Micropower Blog.

The Dawn of Micropower

1.4 billion people have no access to energy. 400 million of them live in India. And in India, 150,000 of the country’s 400,000 telecom towers lack access to a reliable power grid.

That’s why OMC offers Micropower – small-scale energy with local generation and distribution – to both rural communities and mobile networks.

Watch the film on Youtube >>
OMC’s Youtube Channel >>

Full transcript:

Anil Raj, CEO:
“There are 1.4 billion people in the world today who have no access to energy. 400 million live in India alone. They are in places where the traditional grid will never reach. The only answer to providing energy in these places is Micropower.

OMC is a new type of power company and we serve two segments: the consumer, and the industry. So we serve rural communities, and we serve the telecommunications industry. And the way we do this is very simple.

For industrial users – primarily telecom companies – we run a cable from our power plant to their premises and sell kilowatt hours.

To the rural communities we have a different model – a sachet based model. We package power into products which the rural community can afford.

We have rechargeable lanterns, which provide illumination at night, we have rechargeable battery boxes which in essence are mobile power sockets.”

Rohit Chandra, COO:
“When I go around the village during day, I see a lot of activities. I see people happy, I see kids playing. And when I walk around the village in the evenings, the only thing I see is complete darkness.”

Anil Raj, CEO:
“For most people, living without electricity is very hard to imagine. Simple things are impossible. Like switching on a lightbulb to read at night, or starting a fan to cool your home. Basic chores become a huge challenge.

In these areas which lack electricity today, there will never be a grid. It’s simply not financially viable. So Micropower is the only answer. Micropower means small-scale energy with local generation and local distribution, but with large involvement from the local community.

Using largely renewable energy sources, technology which is robust, proven and simple, and can be managed by people from the local community, we generate and distribute power.”

Rohit Chandra, COO:
“We work together with franchisees. They come from the community, and these are aspiring, young, local entrepreneurs. These are the kind of people we are identifying, partnering, training, developing and making sure that they, OMC and the community all go together.”

Anil Raj, CEO:
“Micropower, I mean, it changes everything for this community. And not only the community – Micropower has a profound impact on the telecom industry as well.

Why? Because the single, largest problem facing mobile operators today in emerging markets is the fact that they have no access to reliable power.

In India alone, there are some 400,000 towers of which 150,000 don’t have access to a reliable grid. The option for telecom operators today is to run expensive and polluting diesel generators at every site. That is the problem which OMC solves.

With Micropower they get reliable 24/7 power, based largely on renewable energy sources, so that they can focus on their core business which is serving their customers. The entire headache of building up the power infrastructure, which is not core to the telecom business, is something that OMC now takes care of.

A large part of OMC’s heritage is from the telecom industry. My background is from the telecom industry, both from the equipment vendor side as well as the mobile operator side. Many of us in the leadership team have worked together before in the telecom industry.

As we have in our earlier lives installed tens of thousands of these towers – we’ve been there, we’ve done this before, we know what the challenges are, and we have the answer to many of the problems that we’re going to encounter.

Do rural communities want to pay for electricity? Absolutely. There is a massive demand, people want electricity. They want the conveniences, they want the safety that electricity can provide.

Can they afford it? Absolutely. They’re spending this today on kerosene, they’re spending it on diesel, or on other fossil fuels – on coal. This really is a question of shifting the spend from fossil fuels and kerosene to electricity, to Micropower.”

Rohit Chandra, COO:
“OMC, with this promise of power everywhere, is trying to give the power of power in the hands of the consumer. So we hope and sincerely dream that the communities will evolve with the arrival of power.”

Anil Raj, CEO:
“Micropower will bring about a fundamental change, the very fabric of these rural societies is going to be affected in ways which we cannot imagine today.

In three years time, Micropower will have powered 3,500 telecom towers, Micropower will have provided energy to 2 million homes – 10 million people – in over 1,600 towns and villages.

That is the potential of Micropower.”


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