Telegraaf.nl on Rural Spark

Telegraaf, the largest newspaper in the Netherlands, featuring Rural Spark

In Dutch, translation below.


NEW DELHI - It sounds logical: about 240 million people in india do not have access to electricity, and the energy coming from the sun is enormous. Evan Mertens, of the Dutch company Rural Spark, therefor is convinced the future of the Asian country lies with solar energy.

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Rural Spark focusses on areas where there wasn’t any energy solution before

Although it does sound logical, it is not easy to just implement solar in the enormous country. “Since last year, the attention on solar-energy in India is enormous” Mertens explains. “That attention is good, but now it’s time for the next step: implementation”.

By the end of 2018, all of India should be electrified, prime minister Narendra Modi claims. The Dutch and Indian team at Rural Spark focusses mainly on the rural areas, on places where they is no energy solution present. With innovative designed solar powered battery packs, lamps and accompanied rental model, the company is active in Bihar working to implement their solution.

“Accomplishing this means running marathons, not sprints”, Mertens, having office in New Delhi, explains. “We often encounter situations that we could have never envisioned from the drawing table. One of our first batteries had a perfectly fine cooling system, but while visiting the fields we saw how villagers still kept the batteries in the plastic bag that came with the product upon delivery.”j

Another challenge is caused by governmental regulations. “If you want the government as your partner, you have to comply to a lot of specifications and regulations. Often our products and ideas are ahead in innovation as compared to these specifications and regulations”.