As various initiatives try to bring electricity to the globe’s most remote places (by way of solar energy), profitability looks to be blocking the light they bring. ISTANBUL, Turkey — Salinee Tavaranan has a quite determined face when she talks about solar energy and inclusive business. Nothing surprising, though—the entrepreneurial Thai woman is committed to both. She runs a local business installing solar panels in the off-grid villages of a mountainous area near the Myanmar-Thailand border. It’s one of the many remote rural places, still untouched by electricity, that compose “the last mile.”
SunSawang, her company, used to be a nongovernmental organization that aimed to implement and repair solar systems the Thai government bought in 2004 for the remote countryside.