Imagine Bank Subsidy for Community Solar

I stumbled up this news release about a bank in Uttar Pradesh, India, that is providing loans to help install solar panels. I’m going to alter a section and make it more American just for the sake of illustration–to help you image the number of people this press release is talking about:

For providing the solar panels, Mumble Bank has partnered with a leading manufacturer of solar equipment. The solar panels costs US $305 US, of which the bank finances up to US $249. To purchase this system, beneficiaries must make a down payment of US $57 and pay equated monthly instalments of US $5.55 for 60 months (interest payable at 12% per annum). Mumble Bank chairman, Bob Mumble said: “By providing easy loans for setting up solar photovoltaic systems, we have been responsible for lighting up the homes of over 28,000 rural families. By March 2011, we plan to install 50,000 solar panels across the community.”

First point to make is obviously, I’m guessing the energy needs in rural India are very likely 1/10th American usage. But multiply those numbers by 10. Why are you not seeing flyers in your mail for this? Wouldn’t all banks and insurance companies be interested investing in this kind of economic stability in America? Someone–please tell me why solar installations seem so rare in America?

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