An initiative to spread solar power throughout Bangladesh has succeeded by hitting a landmark of one million homes powered by solar 18 months sooner than expected. Considering in 2002 there were only 7,000 homes powered by solar panels, this alternative energy project is regarded as a resounding success.
Solar energy in developing countries
Bangladesh, a country with a population of 150 million, have been leveraging solar energy as an alternative to traditional grid-based energy, rather than in addition to it. As the nation has many rural areas, 60% of the country’s population has no access to reliable electricity. The World Bank has realized that utilizing solar panels in developing countries such as Bangladesh can “accelerate the transition to low-carbon economic development”, and loaned money to Bangladesh in 2009 to assist in this solar power initiative.
And while 1 million rural homeowners in Bangladesh are certainly please to have access to electricity with the addition of solar power to their roofs, the project is not complete yet. The goal is to have 2.5 million homes powered by solar energy by 2014.
For more information on this solar energy initiative in Bangladesh, check out the full Policy Research Working Paper published by The World Bank in January.