UN awards $1 million grant for community solar in rural Bangladesh


Bangladesh renewable energy companies secured $1 million in grant from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affair to implement multiple solar energy projects in rural areas.

Non-profit solar pv company Grameen Shakti and energy trading solutions firm ME SOLshare will use the grant to develop 100 smart grids powered by solar pvs. The projects are expected to benefit at least 15,000 rural homesteads.

According to a statement, “the project will enable rural Bangladeshi villagers to become solar entrepreneurs by creating an interconnected platform where solar home system users and non-users can exchange electricity.”

The project will make use of and improve existing infrastructure. Peer-to-peer solar mini grids will be developed to help villagers power electric rickshaws, solar water pumps, energy efficient fridges and other home appliances.

Equipping rural residents with solar pvs and developing community solar energy systems will help rural residents to save money through access to flexible energy.

The energy trading platform will allow beneficiaries to generate revenue from trading electricity generated onsite on the community energy market to be created.

The project forms part of efforts to increase access to electricity to under-served regions in Bangladesh. If the project succeeds, it is more likely to be deployed throughout Bangladesh and at a global scale, according to a statement.

The UN says the grant will help achieve its Sustainable Development Goals, provide access to clean and affordable energy to 1 billion people without electricity globally.

UN Deputy-Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said in a written statement read out on her behalf during the ceremony. “Achieving SDG7 on energy and transition to sustainable energy can unlock vast economic growth in all regions and for all people, while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Smart grid development in Bangladesh

In mid-August, UK-based software firm CyanConnode expanded advanced meter deployment in Bangladesh with smart meter contract worth $10 million.

According to a statement, CyanConnode’s customer in the energy management field is based in Eastern Europe and has operations in Bangladesh. The customer manufacturers up to 1.5 million smart meters per annum and a wide range of energy management solutions and appliances for the Bangladesh energy sector. Read more…