Since 1996 the inhabitants of rural areas of the country have seen their lives change, thanks to a kit of cells, batteries and lights, sold discounted rate. In the country over 80 million citizens are not met by the national grid. And now the government grants and tax incentives for those who want to invest in They’ve never seen so much light.
60% of the population of Bangladesh, all rural areas of the country still is not reached by the national network of electricity, the revolution has arrived yet here in the form of solar energy, clean and renewable. Also available to the poorest of the poor. All thanks to SHS (Solar Home System, Solar home), a project of Grameen Shakthi ethical bank, which specializes in promoting green energy.
This is a kit consisting of solar panels, batteries and a series of fluorescent lamps and LEDs, which has already changed the lives of over a million people. But can potentially have an impact on the lives of tens of millions of citizens. Numbers are not exaggerated: Bangladesh has 140 million citizens and, as mentioned, only 40% is reached by the national grid.
This means that 84 million people can take advantage of Shs to change their lives. SHS are different combinations at different prices. For the poorest, the simplest version costs $ 124, and is able to activate five bulbs for three hours. The money, however, should not be paid out all at once: the Grameen Shakthi (and other similar retailers) has established a system for which a payment is 10% advance and the remaining 90 repaid in 36 monthly installments. Three dollars a month. “The best investment I’ve ever done,” said Sheikh Nizamuddin Al Jazeera.
Sheikh has a restaurant on the outskirts of Dhaka. “Before I was forced to keep open only when the sun was out, now I can lie down even after sunset. And withdrawals are doubled.” The distribution efforts of the SHS are also promoted by the government which is unable to expand the national grid. In addition, the country, which produces almost all the electricity from fossil fuels, has set a target of 2020 to produce 10% of electricity from renewable sources.
Thus, combining the development of the SHS and green production, the government decided to introduce a tax exemption for 15 years on the import of components and products related to solar, as well as a host of other facilities for people from abroad wanted to invest in the sector.
A successful model, the Grameen explains: “There are many advantages, but the main one is that the Shs is cheaper than other fuels such as kerosene and diesel, and requires no maintenance. So you can provide hours of light for students, shopkeepers and housewives. And you can recharge cell phones, another tool that is changing the lives of these people. “