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Bangladesh solar success: key lessons for electrification in off-grid regions


As the largest off-grid solar power programme in the world, the Bangladesh Solar Home Systems programme offers valuable lessons to other countries seeking to develop and implement sustainable off-grid electrification programmes. Starting in 2003 as a 50,000 household pilot, the programme achieved huge success over subsequent years, providing electricity to approximately 16% of the rural population at its peak, enabling 20 million Bangladeshis to access electricity.

Former Energy 4 Impact trustee Anil Cabraal has co-authored a World Bank report documenting the approach taken in Bangladesh, including the challenges tackled by the programme and the outcomes achieved. Titled Living in the Light- The Bangladesh Solar Home System Story, it serves as a useful reference for other countries wishing to deploy off-grid renewable energy technologies to bring modern electricity services to their people. It offers particularly instructive parallels on the need to forge public-private partnerships, raise consumer awareness of solar technologies, and provide affordable end-user financing, amongst many other key lessons.

The Bangladesh programme was implemented with a rapid and flexible approach that can be replicated in unelectrified African regions striving to create viable renewable energy markets.

Follow this link to read more and to download the full World Bank report.