Description/achievement of initiative
With four million systems Bangladesh has been recognized as the country with the largest Solar Home System (SHS) program in the word, approx. 1.8 million of those have been installed by Grameen Shakti alone. The partnership has started to leverage this infrastructure by interconnecting SHS among each other as well as with households that so far could afford their own SHS. Villagers now swap electricity with a mobile money-enabled billing system allowing them to save money through better energy access, gain flexibility and get more power whenever they want, and notably to generate a direct income from their electricity trade.
Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer
SOLshare has developed a Training of Trainers concept to build capacity in Grameen Shakti's field staff of 6,000 people to train them on peer-to-peer smart grid installations, maintenance and accounting (mobile money wallets).
The Grameen Shakti - SOLshare market-based platform is a sustainable model that can function with any combination or type of SHS and battery in any part of the world. The hardware is adaptable and needs only to be paired with a local GSM network and, if available, integrated with mobile banking platforms. The technology and business concept developed in the project has the capability to be replicated in most of the regions in Bangladesh, as it is flexible to fit different infrastructures, geographies, and socioeconomic characteristics. In the country, based on the already existing 1.8 million SHS installed by GS, we expect to operate more than 20,000 solar smart grids, serving over 1,000,000 households by the end of 2030.
The concept could be replicated in under-electrified areas that have similar market conditions. India, Myanmar, and Cambodia, as well as the East African market, are good examples of relatively mature SHS markets and low rural electrification rates. The concept can be applied in any under-electrified area in the Global South with a minimum number of 10 HH or SMEs located close to each other, making it applicable and scalable for millions of households worldwide.
Coordination mechanisms/governance structure
The partnership has successfully applied to the UN DESA Powering the Future We Want Award of USD 1 million, and now has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UN DESA for the implementation of the project over the next 24 months.