Investments at Trine come with an environmental, social and financial return. We calculate the future impact in terms of CO2 avoided and how many people will get electricity if it's relevant. If you're wondering how we get to those numbers here are a few details for you. 

We calculate differently depending on the industry we're looking at: for now we have smaller solar home systems (SHS) and commercial & industrial installations (C&I).


Please note that we are using the industry standard of impact calculation approved by the Global Off-grid Lightning Association (GOGLA).

Environmental Impact

The avoidance of CO2 emissions is calculated by counting the amount of fossil fuel that each solar system or solar lantern will replace. The calculations are based on:

  1. Number of solar systems (S) 
  2. Replacement rate of kerosene lamps per household - assumed to be 1 (R)
  3. Discounting for losses - products not working or not in use - assumed to be 3%  (DL) 
  4. Discounting for repeat sales - to avoid double counting of customers - assumed to be 3 - 10%  (DR)
  5. Average annual carbon dioxide and black carbon (tons of CO2e) emissions per kerosene lantern (C)
  6. Estimated solar product lifespan (1.5x warranty), usually 3-4 years (W)

So the calculation is  S x R x ( 1-DL) x (1-DR) x C x W = Avoided CO2 Emissions

This is a conservative estimate considering the batteries can last for more than 8 years and solar panels have an even longer lifetime of 25 years or more.

Long-term Impact

The environmental impact we display on our site is limited to the amount of CO2 avoided in the short term, the long-term environmental impact is much broader. By supporting the introduction of clean, renewable solar energy early in the energy ladder in developing countries, your investment helps solar become the energy of the future.

Social Impact

When it comes to measuring how many people get access to electricity we use global standards, where one household is expected to have 5 people.  The equation then becomes one system = 5 people getting access to electricity.

These numbers are a great indicator for the impact of your investment, however the social impact is much richer. Access to clean and affordable electricity can:

  1. Reduce poverty
  2. Promote better health and well-being
  3. Improve education levels
  4. Improve gender equality
  5. Provide jobs and economic growth
  6. Reduce inequality


For bigger installations we cannot apply the GOGLA impact standard and therefore rely on different inputs and ways of calculating the impact.

Please note that we are using the USAID Clean Energy Emission Reduction (CLEER) Tool.

As an input we have several variables:

  1. Country (as it affects variables such as the carbon intensity of the local electricity grid)
  2. Fuel offset (diesel, electricity from the grid, electricity from generator)
  3. Litres of diesel offset or megawatts (MWh) produced by the solar installation
  4. Type of installation (on-grid centralised or micro-grid)

From this input we see how much CO2 will be offset annually. Then we  assume this offset will continue over 15 years. This is because these installations are designed to be longer lasting infrastructures.

Sustainable Development Goals

Impact can mean so much more than the number of people gaining access to electricity. To give you a better view of this we have decided to use the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. You will now find these on each new loan page.

The UNDP evaluated our impact after visiting one of our partners and found an investment to have an impact on 10 out of 17 sustainable development goals. Take a look at their findings

/ Andreas,

Investing with Trine involves risk that can result in the loss of some or all of your investment and returns are not guaranteed. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Trine is registered as a financial institution with The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen).

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