A summary of services can be found in our Capability Statement. Examples of any categories of work below can be provided on request.
VIA has produced large-scale national and global planning maps for energy access, including an online Atlas focused on energy access issues for the United Nations Foundation as Chair of the Mapping Working Group during 2012-15. This free tool containing over 500 layers of useful information and over 2 million points of data is currently under upgrade - contact us if it is of further interest.
At the local level tools have been created to map individual households in remote unmapped rural areas, which is described further at www.developmentmaps.org. Additional tools are then used to analyze the data - one option is to create least-length rural electrification network using open source algorithms, producing network masterplans like this example for Malekula Island in Vanuatu.
After initial analysis and mapping, it is important to fine-tune the desktop project design with on-ground data from targeted fieldwork to verify assumptions, communicate project objectives with communities and prepare for implementation. VIA has staff and partners deployed across 6 countries in all major continents to undertake such work. Clients have included the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Hivos, IRENA and others.
product development and evaluation
In some instances, existing products on the market do not exist for an identified need, or are at the wrong price point or are not designed as we believe they need to be. VIA can assist with developing new products and sourcing supply partners to address this. Clients have included Azuri Technologies, Project Support Services, Simpa Networks and others.VIA also works together with design firms like Catapult Design and various universities to improve system components.
procurement and logistics
VIA can ensure that the products required for a project are procured and efficiently delivered to the project via sea, air and land transport modes. Recent work in Indonesia and Vanuatu reduced prices by 20-40% with just a few hours of communications with the right kind of supply chain partners.
installation and training
After delivery of the equipment, local partners can be trained on how to install the renewable energy systems into rural villages, and to train local village operators and supply chain partners on technical aspects of the products, and business skills. VIA has undertaken trainings for various clients in Ghana, Indonesia, India, Nepal, Vanuatu and Honduras, as well as assisting suppliers to optimize their products for what demand VIA sees in the field.
In some cases, a client may ask us to manage the project they have financed the construction of, following up on after-sales problems, mobilizing revenue, decreasing default and increasing the capacity of the local team to fully run the business. VIA manages its own portfolio of investments, but can equally manage assets owned by others as well using the same methods and principles.
industry and policy papers
A number of clients have sought assistance in reviewing existing energy and water markets in their country and providing input to government and other stakeholders as to how further develop the markets. VIA consults widely and reviews large volumes of literature to ensure it provides well-researched strategies, often with some new ideas that had not yet surfaced or been fully analysed. One example of such an industry paper was this study made with Sierra Club and Dr Evan Mills from Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories on the annual financial needs of the energy access industry to achieve energy access for all by 2030.
The team of VIA has mobilized over $15 million for micro infrastructure over the past 10 years, some of which has been to help others further develop their project and dream. VIA does not aim to give classic capital advisory services, charging a percentage of any funds raised, but generally bundles such capital raising efforts at little to no cost with other general project management services, as a long-term project partner.This can involve simple debt and equity instruments, but an important role also exists for risk guarantees and technical assistance grants to help derisk lending to early stage projects, and cover overheads of small-scale projects as they journey through the "Valley of Death" to the point where sufficient scale has been reached such that overheads no longer need subsidy or grant support.