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Dubai is not the unlikeliest of venues for a major international conference on the future of the “green economy”, but it perhaps comes close. Arriving from the air, oil drilling platforms punctuate the darkness of the Persian Gulf like tiny floating candles. The darkness ends at the shores of the United Arab Emirates, where the busiest airport on Earth greets arrivals to one of its most unique metropolises. Dubai is one of the UAE’s two flagship cities, along with the capital, Abu Dhabi, and with over two million inhabitants the country’s largest.
During a recent visit to a number of branches, laboratories and projects of SELCO Solar Pvt. Ltd. And the SELCO Foundation in Karnataka, India, REEEP´s DG Martin Hiller tried to test the notion of replicating SELCO´s business model. This social enterprise has been built its success over twenty years, and elaborated a detailed understanding of the market for distributed solar power for India’s poor in rural and urban contexts.