The Base of the Pyramid (BoP) is the largest but poorest socio-economic group worldwide with over 4 billion people. They are economically active as consumers, producers, entrepreneurs and employees. The BoP Innovation Center develops, learns about and accelerates programs dedicated to private sector led sustainable innovation at the BoP. Strategic partners of the BoP Innovation Center include Wageningen University, SNV, Interchurch organisation for development cooperation (ICCO), Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and Aqua for All.
Together with the BoP Innovation Center and TNO, SNV is developing an initiative that is aimed at improving access to electricity. Over 1 billion people do not have access to electricity. Low-income people at the BoP spend enormous amounts of time and money securing inefficient or unsafe alternatives such as firewood and kerosene. This limits the ability of people at the BoP to engage in income generation and educational activities and has a negative impact on their health.
The production of electricity from biogas can be a sustainable solution to this problem. Many rural households are already using household biogas digesters that provide them with gas for cooking. This pilot initiative in Rwanda and Bangladesh aims to develop, produce and sell an electricity socket that will allow those with biogas digesters to produce electricity in their homes. In this way, they will for example be able to charge cell phones and power lamps.