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Bangladesh, People's Republic of: Installation of Solar Home Systems in Bangladesh (Grameen)
(Community Development Carbon Fund)

UNFCCC Reference No.: 2765

Project Photo 1

Project Description
This small scale Program of Activities (POA) aims to reduce emissions by providing solar home systems (SHS) in rural Bangladesh. Under the program, rural Bangladeshi households and businesses, not connected to the electric grid, are benefiting both from a buy down grant and a micro-financing scheme to make solar home systems more affordable. Free operation and maintenance services are also provided for three years after installation, with minimal service charges after this period.

The Infrastructure Development Company, Ltd (IDCOL)5, the overall coordinating and managing entity, has developed a national solar home program which is implemented through various partner organizations, including Grameen Shakti.

Solar home systems use photovoltaic panels to produce electricity - thereby displacing kerosene conventionally used for lamps as well as diesel used in generators to charge batteries. The program installed approximately 1.6 million SHS in rural Bangladesh between 2008 and 2012, directly benefitting an estimated 8.25 million people who now receive access to solar electricity. The average generated annual emission reductions is approx. 200,000 tons of CO2 from avoided use of kerosene and diesel for lighting. The CDCF aims to purchase about 703,000 CERs from Grameen Shatki.

Communities with solar power report a significant increase in the quality of life thanks to better, safer, and cheaper lighting and the ability to power electrical appliances such as cell phones, TVs, and radios. By 2015, the Program hopes to have installed a total of 1.5 million solar home systems.

Country Context
In Bangladesh, approximately 36 percent of the population has an income below the poverty line and only 32 percent of Bangladesh’s total population has access to grid electricity. The majority of the rural population does not have access to electricity, and 18 percent of total household consumption is spent on fuel. Due to lack of access to grid connected electricity, the target households currently use kerosene lamps for lighting and batteries to run television sets and other small appliances; the latter are charged from time to time at local stores, with small domestic diesel generators.

Community Benefits
In addition to fighting climate change, the project has important community benefits, including job creation, healthier home and work environments, and reliable electricity which creates an environment for micro-enterprise development.

The improved lighting from solar electricity will enable longer working days and help raise income. Tailoring businesses, convenience stores, cafés and restaurants can serve more clients by staying open after dusk. New income opportunities, such as mobile phone-charging services and renting time on mobile phones, will be generated. It is expected that the use of modern information technologies such as television, computers, and radios, would increase throughout the community.

  • Households will have healthier home and work environments. Lamps powered by solar electricity will replace the conventional soot-producing lamps, thereby reducing indoor air pollution, fire incidence, and health risks such as respiratory and eye-related diseases.
  • Project activities in the rural areas will create new local job opportunities related to the operation and maintenance of the solar home systems. The program has already created 70,000 new jobs.
  • At the national level, dependency on fossil fuel imports (kerosene for lighting and diesel for electricity generation) will be reduced thanks to solar power; households will benefit from fuel cost savings.

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