In the late 1990s, the World Bank Group together with a number of US-based charitable foundations initiated an ambitious new financing and advisory services vehicle aimed at developing world solar photovoltaic (PV businesses). Called Solar Development Group (SDG), it had two separate but interrelated components with common management oversight. SDG consisted by (1) a not-for-profit Solar Development Foundation (SDF) funded by the Bank Group's Development Grant Facility and a number of charitable foundations; and (2) a private equity fund investment vehicle called Solar Development Capital (SDC).
Although the SDC portion of the project was ultimately terminated in 2004 and did not appreciably boost rural PV solar industry financing in emerging markets, the experiences gained generated many lessons that can help to inform future efforts. This issue presents findings and lessons learnt from an April 2006 evaluation of the SDC initiative.