Dipal Chandra Barua, Bright Green Energy Foundation
Access to Clean Energy – Bangladesh
World Access to Modern Energy (WAME)
Social Impact Finance for Access to Energy
Dipal C. Barua
First Zayed Future Energy Prize Winner
President, South Asia Network for Clean Energy (StANCE)
Ambassador, Zayed Future Energy Prize, Abu Dhabi
Founder & Chairman, Bright Green Energy Foundation (BGEF)
President, Bangladesh Solar & Renewable Energy Association (BSREA)
Advisor, Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG), Green Climate Fund
Ambassador, Global 100% RE
IPCC: Lead Author (AR 5, Chapter 16)
Councilor, World Future Council (WFC), Hamburg, Germany
Milan, Italy 21 September 2015
World Access to Modern Energy
Over 1.2 billion people are not
connected to any kind of electricity
Over 2.7 billion people depend on
traditional fossil fuels.
Only South Asia has over 450 (India
itself has around 400 Million)
million energy starved people.
Renewable Energy Solutions in Bangladesh
Widely used Renewable Energy:
Area of Work :
Installation of Solar Home Systems (SHS)
Replacing traditional diesel run irrigation
pumps by Solar Irrigation pump (SIP)
Installation of biogas plants
Installation of Improved cook stoves (ICS)
History of Solar Home System in Bangladesh
In 1996, I have successfully started expanding the renewable energy technology in
rural Bangladesh as the Founding Managing Director of Grameen Shakti. First I
realized that, if the cost of solar home system (SHS) can be made affordable to the
rural people and brought near the price of Kerosene, only then the benefit of SHS will
be possible to take to the off-grid rural people of Bangladesh.
1. A monthly installment-based payment method which reduced the cost of a solar home system
close to the equivalent of monthly kerosene costs.
2. A strong effective after sales, repair and maintenance network, involving local technicians and
especially women technicians / entrepreneurs who repair and assemble solar accessories in their
3. It was shown that Solar PV technology can be successfully implemented on a mass scale to
provide rural people with environment friendly energy, Clean lights, more income with extended
working hours and hazard free healthy living.
I have successfully demonstrated that renewable energy is a viable option
for the rural people and the myth that this energy technology is too
expensive and high-tech for the rural people has been broken. The
challenges we initially faced were huge but, I derived and implemented
effective integrated market-based strategy that considers the following :
Costs should be within reach of the rural people. If the costs are perceived
too high and the technology is not cost-effective compared to traditional
energy alternatives, the rural people will not be interested.
Efficient and effective after-sales service should be available so that clients
are assured of prompt responses to their problems.
Quality needs to be ensured to earn the good will and trust of the rural
The technologies should be linked to income generation local market forces
should be deployed through capacity through capacity development and
local stake hold.
Integrated Sustainable entrepreneur based business model to
bring clean and affordable energy, income, health, and
economic development to rural Bangladesh
In response to the special needs of the rural people, I developed a sustainable
integrated model that facilitates income generation instead of reliance on subsidies,
creates local community support and capacity development allowing the people to
solve their own problems instead of creating dependence on others.
This is a model which brings technology to the people by coupling innovative financing
with technology transfer through effective community involvement. The key elements
of the integrated sustainable entrepreneur based business model are:
• Providing no direct subsidies but innovative financing schemes based on installments that
make the technology affordable and cost effective compared to traditional energy
alternatives and it creates ownership.
• Creating awareness for renewable energy technologies through motivational programs and
social activities that involve the community.
• Gaining the trust and confidence of the rural people by
focusing on consumer needs and providing high quality
services including consumer friendly product design,
installation, training, of clients on proper use of
technology, free monthly after sales support, and strict
quality control. Our consumer friendly approach also
includes a buyback system allowing customers to return
solar home systems at depreciated prices if there area is
connected to the grid.
• Linking the technology to income generating activities
and creating opportunities for entrepreneur development.
I encourage micro-utility initiatives allowing the technology
owner to generate an additional incomes, and
encourage community based manufacturing by
purchasing and assembling accessories locally.
• Focusing on women as the main actors and entrepreneurs
of change and set up Green technology centers (GTC)
and trained & empowered rural women who are working
independently as renewable energy technicians and
Showing Dr. Sultan, CEO, MASDAR the use
of Solar energy in a rural home
Solar Home System was introduced in
Bangladesh back in 1996
Solar Home System (SHS) was introduced in rural
Bangladesh back in 1996 by overcoming the
1. Created awareness about the use of Solar Energy and
saving kerosene among the rural people of Bangladesh.
2. Made the SHS affordable at the price of Kerosene
through a innovative financial model.
3. Created rural base Green Technology Center (GTC) to
take the after sales service at client’s door step.
4. A new renewable energy sector was developed and
thousands of employment opportunity was created. Solar Home System
Innovative Financial Model
To promote renewable energy in
rural areas on a commercial basis
it was important to develop a
successful financial mechanism.
An innovative financing model
has made it easier for its customers
to afford the RE technology at the
cost of kerosene.
down payment to install the
system and remaining in
down payment to install the
system and remaining in
down payment to install the
system and remaining in
At the Beginning
After few years of Experience
Organized Financial Support
In 2004, after 8 years from the introduction of SHS, looking into the initial
success of Solar Home System in Bangladesh international donor
agencies such as World Bank, KFW, US Aid, GIZ, ADB, IDB, DFID, UK Aid
and JICA involved themselves to finance the SHS program. The
finance was received were channeled through IDCOL out to the
organization involved in the Solar Home System Program.
IDCOL played a important role in the rapid expansion of renewable energy especially
Solar Energy in rural Bangladesh through it’s partner organization. At present there are 62
partner organizations of IDCOL who are participating in IDCOL’s SHS program. As of
August 2015, over 4 million SHS were successfully installed at the rate of 50,000 systems per
month if off-grid Bangladesh.
Challenges faced for Expansion at early Stage
• Lack of access to sufficient and sustainable supplies of energy
• Lack of infrastructure
• Limited or no Access to finance
• Lack of skilled Manpower
• Lack of proper financial model design to make SHS affordable
• Lack of Awareness about the clean and environment friendly energy
sources which will eventually protect the climate for further damage.
• Lack of National energy policy
• Lack of private public partnership in energy sector
Factors of Rapid Expansion
Installment Based customer friendly payment method.
Provide high quality services to earn trust and acceptance from the
A vast network of dedicated, committed and efficient social
Profound understanding of the market.
Adaptive research to effectively respond to customer needs.
Constant monitoring and evaluation.
Providing high quality products.
Reliable after-sales maintenance and support.
Minimizing operating costs.
Installing 7.5 million Solar Home Systems (SHS) in
rural areas of Bangladesh by the year 2020.
Solar Home System :
Until August 2015: Over 4 million Solar Home System
(SHS) has been Installed in rural Off-Grid Areas of
1. It’s the fastest expansion of solar energy anywhere in
2. More than 50,000 SHS’s are being installed in off-grid
areas of Bangladesh every month with almost 20
million rural beneficiary.
3. Rural businesses are booming with the support from
4. Supporting National Grid Power generation capacity.
5. Job opportunity created for both men & women.
Solar Home System (SHS) &
With Solar Power Rural People Can use
Children can Study better by Solar Light
Can use mobile phone charger Watching solar powered TV
• Bio Gas Plant:
Reduce dependency on natural gas.
Provide clean and pollution free
Ensure hygienic cooking facility for
Much more affordable cooking
material then traditional materials.
Decrease health hazards.
Produce slurry for organic fertilizer.
• Improved Cook Stove (ICS):
a) Utilization of unlimited energy
b) Protect environment from
hazardous fume produced from
traditional cook stove.
c) Improved Cook stove saves up-to
50-60% cooking fuel and cooking
To Protect Environment and to reduce Air Pollution
Renewable Energy Technologies can give
unlimited energy without damaging the environment
Improve Cook StoveBio Gas Plant
• Mini Grid:
Provides electricity facility to isolated areas such as
Minimize fossil fuel generation.
Grid quality electricity access to remote households.
Encourage commercial activities in the rural livelihood.
• Roof Top Solar Solution:
Reduce regular electricity load from grid electricity.
Energy generated from the roof top system can be tied
up with grid electricity.
Roof Top Solar System
Solar Irrigation Pump (SIP)
Reallocating Grid electricity through converting
irrigation pumps to Solar Energy in Bangladesh.
36% of GDP and 64% of employment comes from agriculture.
Cultivation fields are irrigated by over 1.6 Million diesel run pumps.
1 million tons of diesel worth $900 million. Solar irrigation Pumps (SIP)
can save up to USD 100 million of subsidy in diesel fuel only.
With solar irrigation pump (SIP), the cost of crop production has
reduced by almost half.
More than 200 pumps installed benefiting more than 2,000 farmers,
with a target of 2500 additional pumps within next few years.
Modern Solar Technology for Urban
Each Urban Building can becomes a Power House.
Powering Mobile Telecommunications Base stations : 10,000 base stations
can be powered by Solar (No Diesel).
Small Solar Solutions in urban areas: Solar power street lights and bill
boards . It support rural communication system by provide lighting at the
night time and give extended business hour for the rural people. Small
solar lanterns for Rickshaws, small shops, and slum areas.
Solar Energy Systems are being installed in Urban areas of Bangladesh.
Government of Bangladesh Renewable energy Policy has set a minimum energy of 3%
should be produced from Solar Power in order to get the Grid Power Connection.
Social & Environmental Impact in Bangladesh
Environment : Replacing kerosene : 500 kg/ year CO2 replaced per
50W system , reducing fire hazards, in-door air pollution and
Women: Reduced household burden for women , Energy access and
consequent access to technologies can free up women’s time,
improve the productivity of their work and allow them to engage in
Communication: Access to TV, mobile phones and internet
Education: Many rural schools installing solar power, Solar powered
Healthcare Facilities : Solar lights, Solar powered refrigerators in
Disaster management: During cyclone Sidr in 2007, PV was a
lifeline. The only homes with light were those with PV.
Zayed Future Energy
Training Facilities for both Staff & Customers
Staff (ToT) training are held regularly for the
• Proper installation of SHS as per technical standard
• After sales service to ensure quality of the installed
components and maximum use.
• Collection efficiency
• Teach accounting skill for proper book keeping
• Conduct training every month at the branch level
• Basic Maintenance of the installed system
• Proper use of the system and to reduce misuse and over
• To give idea about the longevity of the SHS system
Train rural women to assemble and service
accessories for renewable energy technology.
Create employment opportunity for rural women.
Trained women employees are able to maintain the
after sales service & collect installment form the
Train women by Green Technology Center (GTC)
My Vision: Bangladesh
One of the First Solar Nations in the world and to create 1,00,000 Green Job in
Renewable energy Sector by year 2020
Installing 7.5 million Solar Home Systems (SHS) in rural areas of Bangladesh.
Expanding to urban areas to transform every building into power-house and feed
the access to national grid.
Replacing electric / diesel irrigation pumps with solar powered pumps.
Powering education, health, information technology and telecommunication in
Going for low cost solar solutions such as street lighting, billboards, solar lanterns,
solar charging station etc.
Coping with natural disasters such as through solar water desalination for
drinking purpose, emergency lighting, signaling, water purification etc.
Creating 100,000 Green Jobs, especially for women by year 2020.
Grid connected Solar Energy
First-Ever Zayed Future Energy Prize