Solar Energy Powers One Million Bangladeshi Homes

It was recently announced that the number of Bangladeshi households producing their own electricity through solar power has passed the one million mark, demonstrating the fastest solar industry expansion in the world.

Bangladesh had set a goal of powering one million households with solar energy by 2013, but achieved the landmark 18 months ahead of time. Officials say that over 5 million Bangladeshis now have access to home electricity because of solar technologies.

Without access to affordable electricity, some 60 percent of Bangladeshi’s population must rely indoor fires for heat and kerosene lamps for lighting. Both of these energy sources pollute indoor air and increase health risks.

According to the AFP, years of under-investment in infrastructure means state-owned power plants generate only around 4,700 megawatts of electricity a day against demand of 6,000 megawatts — which is growing by 500 megawatts a year.

Increasing funding for solar power development in rural area is one way developing countries could bypass the seemingly requisite dependence on fossil fuels.

Attracting companies that will manufacture, install, and train local residents to maintain solar systems instead of spending money to build coal, gas, and nuclear power plants would allow developing countries to compete with or even surpass Western countries that are dragging their feet on renewable technologies.

Encouraged by its success, Bangladesh has set a new target to achieve 2.5 million solar-powered homes by 2014.

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Image Credit: Flickr - dirvish

113 comments

Elizabeth Sowers
Liz Sowers3 years ago

They're setting an excellent example, and thanks for this article

Cindy N.
Cindy N.3 years ago

Great point you make in this article: "Increasing funding for solar power development in rural area is one way developing countries could bypass the seemingly requisite dependence on fossil fuels."

One way this is becoming a reality is through crowdfunding. Help underserved communities in other countries who could use that funding by investing in solar empowerment. Check out www.sunfunder.com where you can invest as little as $10 to a solar business working in the off-grid communities around the world.

Rose Balcom
Rose \Balcom4 years ago

Good news!

jane richmond
jane richmond4 years ago

If they can do why can't we?

Ruth R.
Ruth R.5 years ago

This is a good start.

Janine Hofmann
Janine H.5 years ago

Thank you for your interesting article

BENTI BULCHA
BENTI BULCHA5 years ago

WHAT A GREAT STORY AND EXPERINCE!
tHIS COULD BE ONE OF THE SOLUTIONS TO THE EVER INCREASING PROBLEMS OF CLIMATE INBALANCE THESE DAYS.

MAY BE IT COULD BE POSSBLE TO PRODUCE A HUGE ELECTRIC ENERGY AND EXPORT TO MAY OTHER AREAS FROM SUCH AREAS AS SAHARA, WHERE THERE IS YEAR-ROUND SUNNSHINE, AND EXPORT TO MANY ADJACENT AREAS OR COUNTRIES IN THE SAME WAY AS HYDRO ELECTRIC POWER.

Nag Karamsetty
Nag Karamsetty5 years ago

Good work in Bangladesh.Renewable sources of energy should be encouraged by the governments and most research should be done immediately....

Marie Johndro
Marie Johndro5 years ago

Some states in the USA like CT,NY,NJ,MD and PA are deregulated when it comes to the electricity which means the consumer has the choice as to how thier energy is produced.Its as easy as puting in a simple request to them.Viridian Energy is becoming a huge leader as a company in these markets by charging less per khw for green energy produced by mainly wind and solar.So the consumers both residential and commercial can have a huge positive impact on the environment and save money on thier elecrtic bill!!Anyone inerested in getting some info let me know or go to www.viridian.com/luvgreen

Brian F.
Brian F.5 years ago

Germany leads the world in solar installtions because they have a feed and tariff law in place that forces utilities to buy clean power from homeowners. It is too bad that the USA does not have the courage or political will to require all homes to have solar power. A 100 mile by 100 mile square mile solar power plant in Nevada could power the nation with clean energy.