Inspiring story about solar energy in Bangladesh

dreamgardenMarch 8, 2008

I thought this story was interesting. Might be some useful info for who are thinking of living off the grid.

Bangladesh Renewable Energy Pioneer Grameen Shakti Presents Rural-Based Solar Home System Model at WIREC

Mar 6, 2008

WASHINGTON, March 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Grameen Shakti (, one of the most successful rural-based renewable energy companies in the world, sent its founder and managing director, Dipal Barua (, here this week to explain the companys model to World Bank officials and to representatives of developing countries attending the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference (WIREC).

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invited Barua to WIREC to share Grameen Shaktis strategy for improving the lives of more than one million people in Bangladesh through solar energy systems, biogas digesters and improved cook stoves. USAID grants and World Bank funds have enabled Grameen Shakti to provide less expensive services and reach more poor people.

Since the Grameen Bank ( launched the non-profit Grameen Shakti (shakti means energy in Bengali) in 1996, the pioneering organization has installed more than 130,000 solar energy systems in Bangladesh. It installs nearly 5,000 more systems every month. The solar home systems typically consist of small photovoltaic panels connected to a battery for storage.

Nearly 70 percent of Bangladeshi households are not connected to the national grid and rely on kerosene for lighting. For the price they would normally pay for kerosene, Grameen Shakti clients are buying clean, solar electric lighting systems and using the energy to operate small appliances and charge their mobile phones, Barua said.

Grameen Shakti offers customers unique programs to ensure their satisfaction, including warranties, maintenance contracts, and buy-back methods. Grameen Technology Centers train women technicians in rural areas who make a living marketing and installing solar home systems.

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