The Energy Access Foundation, Inc. was co-founded by Richard Hansen, founder of Soluz, Inc., and a pioneer in the introduction of solar PV for rural electrification in Latin America beginning in 1984, Dr. Harish H. Hande, the co-founder of SELCO India and a pioneer in solar PV for rural electrification in India beginning in 1995, and Titus Brenninkmeijer, the founder of Solgenix, a social investment firm, and a board member of ACCION International, a leading Micro-Finance Institution.
The seeds of EAF were planted in several meetings held with colleagues who were looking at how to catalyze the rapid growth of solar around the world. In 2005/2006 the co-founders developed a timely multi-client study titled Innovation in Rural Energy Delivery a project led by Soluz, Inc. in collaboration with Navigant Consulting. The study reviewed the global status of energy access and the activities implemented by key organizations during the prior decade. This study included organizing a meeting of leading solar entrepreneurs which was held in India in June 2005.
The study included an analysis of the progress made by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to advance solar PV for rural electrification. Recommendations were presented that aimed at accelerating energy access through SMEs. If you are interested in reading the study, you can access it through this link: Innovation in Rural Energy Delivery Study.
Following the Soluz/Navigant study the co-founders decided to launch the Energy Access Foundation, Inc. a non-profit organization to support innovation and entrepreneurship in rural energy. EAF was incorporated as a charitable corporation on July 31, 2006 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. On September 17, 2007 EAF applied to the Internal Revenue Service for exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. On December 17, 2007 EAF received tax exempt status from the department of Treasury of the United States Government. Following the Soluz/Navigant study Dr. Harish H. Hande also established the SELCO Innovation Lab which later evolved into the formation of the SELCO Foundation based in India.