Indian payments solutions provider,PayU, is promoting its commitment to sustainability and financial inclusion across India by procuring Distributed Renewable Energy Certificates (D-RECs) from high-impact solar projects electrifying rural banks across the country.

D-RECs are an innovative climate finance instrument that are accelerating the energy transition. They increase local clean electricity supply, boost transparency and transform corporate green energy procurement. According to PayU, D-RECs have a key role to play in India. Due to erratic power supplies, banking in rural areas can often be difficult if not impossible. Around one-fifth of Indian adults still do not have a bank account.

Ensuring banks remain operational despite power cuts

E-Hands Energy is a Chennai-based provider of renewable energy solutions in rural India. It has completed a programme providing solar solutions to over 920 rural banks in India. This helps bring financially excluded rural Indians into the formal banking system. It ensures banks remain operational throughout the day despite regular power cuts. The D-RECs purchased by PayU will be certifying the renewable electricity generated by a selection of these rural banking renewable energy projects. This serves to support financial inclusion across the country.

D-RECs extend the impact of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). This is a widely used market instrument will be applied to smaller projects with limited connection to the grid and/or limited access to affordable finance, such as E-Hands Energy’s banking programme. By purchasing D-RECs to settle 89% of PayU India’s electricity consumption, the company is providing climate finance for further E-Hands Energy renewable energy projects with an installed capacity of over 390 KWp for 220 villages across India. These projects will displace polluting grid and off-grid energy generation, such as diesel generators and grief-based electricity, from across India.

The D-Rec Initiative

The D-REC Initiative has developed an open technology ledger in close collaboration with the International REC (I-REC) Standard. This gives buyers like PayU confidence in the origination of their certificates. In addition, it produces rigorous metrics for corporate reporting against renewable energy procurement targets.

Mohit Gopal, COO at PayU India, said: “D-RECs offer an innovative and verifiable platform to accelerate affordable and clean energy access for underserved communities of India. As part of the Prosus’ family of companies, our multi-year partnership with the D-REC Initiative shows our commitment to transition to a greener economy that is not only inclusive. It offers a reliable banking experience to rural Indians, bringing more people into the fold of organised financial services.”

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Raghuraman Chandrasekaran, founder and CEO of E-Hands Energy, said: “The monetisation of our projects via DRECs are extremely important for us. We can now accelerate the deployment of solar to more rural sites with the help of DRECs sold to reduce our capital expenditure on setting up new financial inclusion projects in the future.”