Ashden: Improving access to energy in rural Bangladesh
There are around 50 million people in Bangladesh with no electricity or an unreliable supply. Most still rely on polluting and expensive fuels like kerosene or diesel generators. Six million people do have solar home systems, but up to a third of the electricity they generate goes to waste as peoples usage patterns vary day to day and season to season. With the SOLshare system each household has the option to buy a Solar box, and those who don’t have a solar home system can plug in to the network without needing to buy their own solar panels. The box is simple to use and allows villagers to buy electricity only when they need it, to power lights, fans, mobile phones etc. What is not used can be sold to neighbours. SOLshare’s work is enabling some of the most marginalised communities in the world to take control of their electricity supply, reducing energy poverty: around 40% of customers are first time electricity users for whom solar was previously out of reach.