B’desh celebrates installation of 2mn solar home systems

DHAKA : Bangladesh celebrated the installation of 2 million solar home systems this month thanks to the hard work of the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) and the Partner Organisations, reports UNB.
Starting in 2002 with a target to install 50,000 systems over a period of 5 years, more than 50,000 solar home systems are now being installed in Bangladesh in a month, said a World Bank release.
The release said renewable energy programme of the government is an excellent example of a successful demand-driven Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme. The World Bank-supported Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED) Project helped start the solar home systems programme in Bangladesh.
On completion of the RERED project, the World Bank has recently approved a follow-on RERED II project to support another 550,000 systems in remote rural areas. The release said that solar home systems meet the basic electricity needs of rural people, who would have otherwise been dependent on kerosene lamps for lighting.
A recent impact evaluation study on SHS have confirmed increased study time for children, increased mobility and sense of security for women, and the increased use of contraceptives and fall in recent fertility in SHS households, thanks to awareness from TV watching.
Building on successful implementation of the solar home systems, the RERED II project will also support renewable energy-based mini-grids in remote rural areas to provide electricity for productive applications.
The project will support replacing diesel-run irrigation pumps with solar pumps. The project will also support the second phase deployment of energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and technical assistance to the power sector.
More than 28 million households in Bangladesh still rely on traditional biomass fuels burnt in inefficient stoves. With support from the RERED II project, IDCOL has embarked upon the improved cook stoves programme that will benefit rural women and children, who are exposed to indoor air pollution from inefficient stoves.
The IDCOL cook stove programme is targeted to help disseminate 1 million improved cook stoves in rural areas with the help of the partner organisations.
The rural grid electrification programme of Palli Biddyut Samities under the Rural Electrification Board has also been a successful programme that reached electricity to 8 million households in rural Bangladesh. The World Bank has been supporting the programme since its inception, and is committed to support its strengthening so that more rural grid consumers can benefit from reliable supply of electricity.

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