Solar Home Systems in Bangladesh
This case study examines a program of rural electrification in Bangladesh by means of solar home systems (SHS). Bangladesh ranks among the lowest in the world for population with access to electricity. In 2003, the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) launched the SHS program to provide cost-effective electricity to the rural population of Bangladesh. Using an ownership model, customers financed the purchase of SHS from partner organizations (POs). The POs install and maintain the systems, collect the loan payments, and recycle used batteries. The quality and installation of the SHS were monitored, as was the financial performance of the POs. The program has increased the rate of rural electrification to 40 percent. Issues remain for quality and proper installation of SHS systems and unauthorized recycling of used batteries.
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