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11/24/2014

About | Rural Spark.


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About
Growing the worlds next energy network, smartly distributed, viable and sustainable, through an
unique approach that empowers for local systems to emerge!
Through a monthly subscription, rural Indian villagers rent a Rural Spark energy kit and become Local Energy Suppliers who generate,
use and sell energy. By trading energy surpluses with other Local Energy Suppliers in the network, supply and demand are linked.
Using tools that allow for local systems to emerge from within the context, Rural Spark offers the future network solution that evolves
along with the development of the context (as opposed to most temporary stand alone solutions), already today. For realization, local
partnerships and local networks to build economically viable business models are established.

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Transforming energy networks


Energy, we use it everyday. Someday more, someday less. This energy is generated to meet
our needs, using controllable fossil fuels. Sustainable energy, coming from our sun or the wind,
cannot be controlled and might fail to meet our needs, although on average, there is more than
enough sustainable energy. Smart grids offer a solution; smartly linking supply and demand
enables us to use surpluses to meet demands. Rural spark realizes the potential to apply smart
grids in developing countries, enabling them to leapfrog traditional top-down, centralized energy
grids. Starting in India where 400 million people currently dont have access to electricity.
Rural Spark empowers local stakeholder to grow an autonomous functioning network, in which
energy, information, maintenance and profits are distributed on all levels, thereby actively
participating in the growth of an open, new (world) energy market from the bottom-up.
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11/24/2014

About | Rural Spark.

Design homegrown development


the only way to get true insights in how to transform society, is
by actually doing it
Based upon our strong vision on future energy networks, Rural
Spark designs the required tools and infrastructure from within
the context. Instead of determining what to supply from behind
a desk, the design studio is moved into the context to design for
Mr. Ranjit, responsible local energy supplier
what is in demand. This approach allows for socially designed
in Sankuhi, Madhya Pradesh, India
tools (making our envisioned goal tangible already) that
empower villagers to become entrepreneurs and pioneers. These empowered village level
entrepreneurs already make a large difference in their village, earning both money and social
value. Connecting all the entrepreneurs, together they grow the smart, distributed energy
network of tomorrow.

Using the approach of designing for small empowerment to


enable a large vision, many local organizations cross the path.
Together with these organizations, economically viable
business models are developed from within the context,
leveraging local networks and (social) infrastructure. Durable
development requires continuous value creation and
economical sustainability cooperating with local partners and
existing networks.

Local energy rental kit, installed in


Mohgaon, Madhya Pradesh

Learn more about our unique hidden-design approach here.


Sharing energy
specially designed tools creating social entrepreneurship

To ensure local responsibility and involvement, Rural Spark provides a specially designed
charging dock which allows a local villager to charge tools like LED Solar Lamps, radios, fans
and mobile phones. This person becomes a local energy supplier, sharing harvested energy
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11/24/2014

About | Rural Spark.

among his customers. Collecting small fees from his customers


for charging the devises, the entrepreneur takes responsibility
for the system.
By sharing energy, the entrepreneur makes more efficient use
of the solar panel and charging hardware while earning money
with providing energy for charging tools like sustainable LED
lamps. If, for example, the local entrepreneur charges Rs 50,per month for charging a solar lamps, rural entrepreneurship
stimulates economic activity at the village level. Moreover, the
LED Solar Lamp will provide better, safer and more sustainable
light for less money than kerosine.
Apart from the financial and environmental benefits, sharing
energy has vast social effects on the village level. For the
empowered entrepreneur, it increases ownership and sense of
responsibility. Moreover, social cohesion increases between all
stakeholders involved. The customers come everyday to the
entrepreneur where a social community will emerge. This
provides an extra social incentive to both the customers and the
entrepreneur to take care of the system, ensuring continuation.
Together the villagers are using solar energy in a new way, this
enhances the feeling of community and responsibility.

Introducing the tools enables local codevelopment in designing sharing schemas


on the village level

Sharing energy has vast social effects;


increasing ownership, responsibility & social
cohesion

Smartly connected entrepreneurs


creating a network where Rural Spark becomes a service
provider, smartly connecting
energy surpluses and shortages from different sources
To put the concept of linking supply and demand into practice,
entrepreneurs are empowered to exchange energy with one
Charging Share Cubes by connecting them
another. The Local Energy kit provides enough energy to
to the Energy Router
charge rechargeable tools (LED lamps, radios, fans etc.) all
year long. As a consequence, a lot of additional energy is generated on days with more sun.
To capture this energy, Rural Spark introduces Share Cubes,
enabling an entrepreneur to not only charge solar lamps and
other tools, but also Sharing Cubes. Charged Sharing Cubes
contain energy that can be traded on an emerging market of
supply and demand, building the worlds next energy network.
the transportation of energy; linking supply
& demand

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About | Rural Spark.

3 Comments

Henk Crietee
11 Jul 13 at 12:16

Quite interesting. What appeals to us is the community approach to solving energy

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About | Rural Spark.


problems at village level, the possibility of local production of applianced, using as much
as possible locally available raw materials and the promotion of local entrepreneurship.
An alternative would be the distribution and sales of relatively cheap (imported) solar
lanterns to individual households in the village. What would be the specific advantages
of the system designed by Rural Spark? Could you give a rough indication of the
investment costs in euro of the solar home system designed by Rural Spark serving say
20 families. Our target group is the bottom of the pyramid, i.e. poor families living in rural
areas. Affordability and an expressed interest and demand for the proposed system is
crucial. The Rural Spar system is in our opinion not suitable for cooking because that
will use too much energy. Our foundation, the Solar Cooking Foundation the
Netherlands (SCN) has developed, together with our NGO partners in Uganda and
Ethiopia, an Integrated Solar Cooking system using simple solar cooking devices and
fuel saving stoves for cooking. Reference is made to our website
http://www.solarcooking.nl. . Regards, Henk Crietee, treasurer and project coordinator
Uganda SCN

Reply

Harmen
23 Jul 13 at 09:06

Henk, thanks for your comment. The solar cooking devices youre
proposing seem quite interesting. Youre right that the current system
by Rural Spark is not used for cooking. Were still in the R&D stage

share

regarding cooking heat, as we incorporate the concept of smart


energy networks in cook-heat as well (storing heat of the sun during
the day, so it can be transported and used during the evening /
night). It might be interesting to exchange experience!

Regarding our current concept, the unique advantage is the smart


distribution of energy based on the concept of Smart Grids. With only
stand-alone products like solar-lantarns we can not build a reliable,
stable energy network with the potential to grow. A combination of
multiple energy sources (solar, wind, water, bio etc.) is required. On a
sunny day, solar powered entrepreneurs can sell their surpluses to
Local Energy Suppliers based on hydro power. On a cloudy day, the
other way around. Not only do Local Energy Suppliers have constant
access to energy through the network, also all the energy generated
is actually used, decreasing the investment of hardware.

Allow me to provide a more in debt reaction through mail!

Best, Harmen (Rural Spark)

RAKEMDRA PERUMAL
18 Aug 14 at 10:28

We are prarthana foundation we need more clarification and your way support

Reply

2011 Rural Spark. Terms and Conditions.

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About | Rural Spark.

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