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Powering India’s Poor: Mobile Phones, Mini-Grids, and Community Power

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TiE Silicon Valley is proud to present "Powering India's Poor" in partnership with the Sierra Club. Today, three out of every four new mobile phone subscribers live in emerging markets. In India the demand for mobile phones in rural areas has resulted in the construction of roughly 350,000 off-grid cell phone towers – most powered by costly and polluting diesel generators. Now the Government of India has mandated that 50 percent of towers in rural areas be supplied by renewable hybrid generation sources. The decision, along with an evolving market place, has jumpstarted a ‘Tower Power’ market that saw over 20 Renewable Energy Service Companies (RESCOs) win contracts to convert over 15,000 base stations last year.

While renewable Tower Power is an exciting new market, it has revealed another even bigger opportunity: the potential to profitably deliver ‘community power’ to India’s 300 million energy poor. An increasing number of mobile phone users have access to a mobile phone network but no connection to the electricity grid. By building excess capacity into Tower Power systems, RESCOs can directly supply local communities who have never been reached by electricity. Companies are successfully testing different approaches, such as mini-grids, transportable batteries, or by direct-charging on site. These models leapfrog over the centralized grid infrastructure by hitching on to the infrastructure of the most successful leapfrog technology to date – mobile phones.

Join us as we discuss this exciting market opportunity with leading voices in the community power and energy sectors.

Gopal Garg, VP SunPower Corporation, TiE Energy Program Co-Chair
Armando Pauker, General Partner, Apex Venture Partners, TiE Energy Program Co-Chair

Jigar Shah, Founder, SunEdison
Amol Phadke, Scientist & Deputy Group Leader, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
Carl Pope, Principal Strategist, Inside Straight Strategies
Sandhya Hegde, Partner, Khosla Impact
Sanjay Dani, CEO & Founder, Serra  Power Solutions

Gopal Garg, VP, SunPower Corporation

6:00PM – Registration, Dinner and Networking
7:00PM – Program
8:15PM – Q & A
9:00PM – Adjourn

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