My company is trying to find evidence of the economic impact that results from providing not just renewable energy, but also the agricultural produce processing equipment (APPE) that is needed in remote, off-grid rural communities in the developing world. Why? Because we have found that, despite the fact that we can identify hundreds or thousands of sites where micro hydropower could be installed, that electricity is not going to have maximum impact if the communities we serve have zero electrically-powered equipment with which to make more money, reduce wastage, improve profitability.
The idea of providing those communities with the APPE they need, along with the hydropower, all bundled up in the same finance package, sounds completely sensible in theory. But that's the problem. It's just theory. The private sector investors might like the idea of enabling these remote rural communities to make more money, and thereby make regular payments more likely, but they need evidence.
So can anyone point me to projects where a community, which previously had no electricity and no APPE, was then monitored in its economic activity after electricity and APPE is provided?
If the evidence doesn't exist, I'd like to create a project where we carry out exactly this kind of experiment.