Study on Problems and Possibilities of Solar Energy Business in Bangladesh - Assignment Point
Study on Problems and Possibilities of Solar Energy Business in Bangladesh
Subject: Marketing | Topics:

Problems and Possibilities of solar energy business in Bangladesh

Providing power without intensifying the effects of climate change is a priority for the people of Bangladesh, who know all too well what rising seas and more frequent storms can do to their coastal nation. The Government of Bangladesh has established a goal of providing electrical power to all its citizens. Renewable energy is a key component of the initiative, and Bangladesh has already made impressive gains in reaching the 85 percent of the country’s population that lives in rural areas.

However, in many rural areas, people live too far from the main electrical grids to make connections reliable or affordable. Without access, these families are forced to rely on more expensive and nonrenewable energy options such as kerosene or batteries. Even with 400,000 new households gaining access to electricity every year, it could take another 40 years for all the people of Bangladesh to have power.

The renewable energy project is helping the private sector, NGOs, and microfinance institutions expand the solar energy program and establish it on a commercial and sustainable basis. Recognizing the importance of an informed public, the project is increasing awareness among consumers and suppliers about the benefits and the correct use of solar home systems.

These efforts will be critical to providing Bangladesh with the diversity of clean power sources it needs to bring the benefits of electricity to all of its 140 million citizens. In Bangladesh there is a huge possibility of solar energy business. Our entire report is about the problems and possibilities of solar business in our country.

Introduction

Bangladesh is a small over populated developing country. In many remote areas of the country there is no supply of electricity. Rural electrification through solar PV technology is becoming more popular, day by day in Bangladesh. Solar Home Systems are highly decentralized and particularly suitable for remote, inaccessible areas. So in our country the business of solar power system may do by some government as well as nongovernmental organization. The possibility of the business is high in our country. Solar power systems are changing the face of rural Bangladesh. And it would be a billion dollar industry within a few years. At present there are 32 organizations doing solar energy business in Bangladesh.

Background of the study

Now a day’s solar energy business is becoming more popular in our country. In Bangladesh BRAC and Grameen Shakti has first introduced low cost solar system to the rural people.

BRAC Solar Energy Program for Sustainable Development was launched in December 1997. An integrated and multipurpose program, its projects spread across the country in a wide variety of settings including households. The BRAC Solar Energy Program looks to the future major expansion plans. These include: One Electrification Program to provide environmentally responsive electricity through one lack systems. BRAC has done total Installation of 36,631 Solar Home System.

From a humble beginning of 228 homes in 1997, Grameen Shakti now powers over 135,000 homes, currently adding 5,000 homes every month using photovoltaic technology.

Bangladesh lags behind many of other countries in the world in terms of access to electricity as only 35 per cent of the entire population here have an access to electricity. It has an ambitious target to ensure access to electricity for all by 2020.

Purpose of the research

Broad objective:

The general purpose of the study is to find out the problems and possibilities of solar energy business in Bangladesh. In this research we are going to find out the possibilities regarding solar system in our country as well as the problems regarding the business.

A careful review of those question areas lead to the development of the following specific research objectives.

Specific Objectives:

  • To identify the marketing strategy of different government and non government organization who are doing solar energy business in our country.
  • Determine the possibilities and positive outcome from this sort of business.
  • To determine the reasons of buying solar energy system by the general people.
  • To know about the price of solar energy equipment and the user of this system.
  • Develop a clear idea about the overall solar energy business.
  • Problems regarding this sort of business.
  • Bangladesh Government’s thinking and plan regarding solar energy system.

Organization of the report

The report consists of two parts. The first part is the organizational part which deals with the organizational overview, its structure and a brief about the functions of the organizations. The other is the details of the consumer attitude toward solar energy. In the first part we are going to describe about the problems regarding solar energy business in our country. In the second part we are going to find out the possibilities of solar energy business in Bangladesh.

Methodology &Research design

Our research objective is to find out the possibilities and problems of solar energy business in Bangladesh. We have used both exploratory and descriptive research. The research is both quantitative and qualitative in nature. For data collection we went go for survey. We have made a structured questionnaire and we followed survey method for data collection. The interviews took20-25 minutes, although the length of the interview has depended on different circumstances.

Primary source of data collection:

We have gathered primary data through the questionnaires from the respondents who are using solar energy and who are directly related with the business.

Secondary source of data collection:

We have collected secondary data from different websites as well as different journals. To develop a clear idea about the business we have read some newspaper, article, and book regarding solar energy system.

Study area

Our study area was Mymensing and Gazipur. For completing our research we went to Mauna, Monoharpur, Jahangirpur and Galda .Actually we went to the rural area for identifying the real scenario. We also went to different NGO for data collection.

Study Population

For this research our basic concern is to focus overall view of the solar energy business. There are lots of NGOs providing solar system facilities to the rural people all over the country. Due to time constraints we could not able to visit all the NGOs. We have tried to visit as many as we can. There are around 4,00,000 people using solar energy system in our country. But it was not possible for us to go to all the consumers.

Technique of data collection

As we have used survey method, during this process we went for fieldwork and communicate directly with the respondent. We have made a structured questionnaire for data collection. For completing the research work we have collected data from different level. We have made different questionnaire for consumers as well as producers. And to collect this information and data a survey work has conducted effectively. Our survey work has been chosen as the technique of data collection because by this technique many answered can be carried. We receive the answered directly from the people.

Sample design

A sampling technique has been selected on a probability from all the households who are using the solar energy system in a certain area. Eligible respondent were enough adult to answer the questions. In our country people of remote area are using solar panel for electricity. But we are going to do our survey on a certain area. We will use simple random sampling method to do the survey. We got the list of people who are using solar home system. For that reason it was easy for us to use simple random sampling technique.

Data gathering

Each and every group member has tried our level best for data gathering. We went to the field for fulfilling questionnaire. It has taken 2 days to gather the data. To collect the information from the samples supervision must be needed. Before going to the field pre testing and questionnaire layout should be done.

For the field work, we have followed some steps:

  • Making initial contact.
  • Asking questions.
  • Record responses.
  • Terminating interviews.

Data processing and analysis

After gathering the data we have used standard editing and coding procedures for checking and verifying the data. We have used in-house editing technique. For analyzing the data we used computerized systems for data storage and analysis. We have used SPSS software for analyzing the data.

What is solar energy system?

Energy we get from the sun is called solar energy.  It is one kind of renewable energy. We can use some machine to convert the energy into electricity. Photovoltaic system use solar energy for generation of electricity. This system does not require any kind of conventional fuels. Since solar energy is available everywhere, this new technology may serve as a great booster for rural electrification. This technology is being utilized in many countries to supply electricity in decentralized mode.

Bangladesh Government Policy regarding Renewable Energy

Government of Bangladesh has declared National Energy Policy (NEP) in the year 1996 covering Renewable Energy.

The major objectives of the NEP are:

  • To provide energy for sustainable economic growth so that the economic development activities of different sectors are not constrained due to shortage of energy.
  • To meet the energy needs of different zones of the country and of different socio-economic groups.
  • To ensure optimum development of all the indigenous energy sources (e.g. commercial fuels, biomass fuels, and other renewable energy sources).
  • To ensure sustainable operation of the energy utilities.
  • To ensure rational use of total energy sources.
  • To ensure environmentally sound sustainable energy development programs causing minimum damage to environment.
  • To encourage public and private sector participation in the development and management of the energy sector.

To encourage private sector participation in the development of power sector Govt. declared some fiscal incentive through “Private Sector Power Generation Policy of Bangladesh in 1996.

In order to translate these policy objective into actual investment projects government has taken keen interest to finalize and declared a Renewable Policy.

Some solar home system providing organizations of Bangladesh

There are 32 organizations are providing solar home system in our country. Some of their descriptions are given bellow:

Grameen Shakti

Grameen Shakti (GS), a member of the Grameen family, incorporated in 1996, as a not for profit company, to promote, develop and popularize renewable energy technologies in the remote rural areas of Bangladesh.  At present, GS has about 500 engineers and 2075 field staffs, serving more than 1000,000 beneficiaries through its 365 unit offices, 60 regional offices and 10 division offices.  By now, GS installed nearly 283000.

Grameen Shakti has taken a massive program for the coming years. They are aiming to install more 1 million solar home systems by the year 2015. To see the program a success, GS are developing more skilled manpower through training and capacity building. GS has so far trained up about 2075 engineers and 600 field staffs on solar PV technology. For its contribution towards popularizing solar technology, GS has won several international awards such as The Energy Globe Award, 2002 from Austria, “European Solar Prize Award”, 2003 from Germany, “Best Theme Award”, 2003 from USAID  and “Solar Prize” ,2004 from a government own company and “ Best Organization Award” , 2005  from the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.  In 2006, GS received Ashden Award from UK. Even, I myself also received European Solar Prize” 2006 from Euro Solar, Germany for my contribution to Renewable Energy Education Program for Women.

Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC)

BRAC Solar Energy Program for Sustainable Development was launched in December 1997. An integrated and multipurpose program, its projects spread across the country in a wide variety of settings including households.

 BRAC and other NGO offices, training centers, schools, health clinics, cyclone shelters, a weather monitoring station, a government rest house and income generating centers such as carpentry, tailoring shops, cloth dyeing and printing shops, leather workshops, restaurants and grocery shops. Stand- alone PV systems and wind turbines for solar electricity, Hot Box cookers and biogas plants have been installed in various regions throughout the country. In addition, the program has also installed 2 PV- utility interactive systems and 6 PV-wind turbine hybrid systems pioneering in Bangladesh. Projects with solar thermal micro-hydroelectric generators, biogas electricity and are soon be implemented.

With support from WB/GEF/GTZ/kfw BRAC installed capacity 1.38 Mw (September, 2007) Stand alone Solar Home System to provide electricity in rural off-grid areas and served 26,600 beneficiaries (September, 2007). Until May 18, 2008 BRAC Foundation installed 36,631 Solar Home System with support from IDCOLWB/GEF/GTZ/kfw.

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB)

Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), established in 1972, is responsible for planning, construction and operation of power generation and transmission facilities throughout Bangladesh and for distribution in the urban areas except Dhaka and its adjoining areas. BPDB generates electricity from both the renewable (hydro) and non-renewable sources (natural gas, furnace oil, diesel etc.). There are several places where solar photovoltaic is used for supplying electricity for lighting and communication equipment. Currently, BPDB is implementing Chittagong Hill Tracts Solar PV Electrification Project.

Status of Solar PV programmed under BPDB:

Number of System: 2344 No Solar System (Approved), 4437 (Consumer)

Location:

Bilaichari, Juraichari&BarkalUpazilla of Rangamati District &ThanchiUpazilla of Bandarban District.

Already implemented Solar PV programme :JuraichariUpazillaSadar, Bonjogichara, Moidong, Dumduma Union, Shijak College of BaghachariUpazilla, BarkalUpazila under Rangamati District, ThanchiUpazila under Bandarban districts  etc.

Rural Electrification Board (REB) of Bangladesh

Since inception in 1977 Rural Electrification has been providing electricity to rural consumers through Rural Electric Co-operatives – called PalliBidyutSamities (PBSs). It is worth mentioning that a PBS is a Co-operative that runs on the basis of ownership and direct participation of the consumer members.

REB started its solar electrification Programmed back in 1993 with a Solar Photo Voltaic (SPV) pilot project funded by French Govt. Details of projects implemented /under implementation/ proposed stage by REB are enclosed here with.

Until June 2007 REB installed Total 233.095 Kw (0.233 Mw) under different PalliBidyutSamities (PBSs) of Bangladesh.

Rahimafrooz’s Renewable Energy Ltd

Rahimafrooz’s Renewable Energy division has been providing Solar solutions. It has supplied over 52,000 solar home systems (SHS) to the rural, off-grid areas of Bangladesh where the national grid cannot reach. The Company has helped light the darkness by making available the SHS through micro-credit, whereby a family can pay as low as USD 7.00 per month for lighting up their homes, workplaces, business, etc. The Company, in recognition of its solar efforts, received the McGraw-Hill Platt Global Energy Award in 2004 and the Global Ashden Award in 2006.

Centre for Mass Education in Science (CMES)

Centre for Mass Education in Science (CMES) was established in 1978 with an aim to take science and technology to the grass root people through appropriate mass education. Even before its establishment as a NGO, we were pursuing its aims through our popular science monthly ‘BigganSamoeeki’ starter in 1960, along with its associated science clubs and young enthusiasts throughout the country. CMES soon focused its attention on the disadvantaged rural adolescents and youth – arranging an appropriate education for those of them who are never enrolled or drop out from schools. The result was the Basic School System (BSS) starting in 1981which evolved over the years to become more appropriate with an integrated approach emphasizing livelihood skills and gender empowerment. The latter aspect was further enhanced by the start of the Adolescent Girls Program in 1991. The combined BSS and AGP have now developed into a replicable model working in 22 different rural areas of the country in 11 districts. Over these developments we have given utmost importance to innovative approaches to education, appropriate technology and empowerment. For this we have developed a strong R&D program not only in developing methods, materials, and products, but also in the commercialization of the technology through the micro enterprises of the rural youth – appropriately trained and empowered for this. CMES thus concentrated on bringing the world of education closer to the world of work.

Rural Services Foundation (RSF)

Installation of SHS is one of the main activities of RSF. From its inception RSF has installed 7269 SHS till 31 August 2007 through its 45 unit offices under IDCOL, GTZ and RSF own financing program. Total 7269  SHS installation up to 31 August, 2007.

ThengamaraMohilaSabujSangha (TMSS)

TMSS, formerly known as ThengamaraSabujSangha, was established as a Social Development Organization in 1964. At 1980 Prof. Dr.Hosne-Ara Begum reforms the organization as ThengamaraMohilaSabujSangha (TMSS). From its very inception it works for women and child development. Over the years TMSS has gradually evolved into a large and multifaceted development activities with an aim to poverty alleviation and the Empowerment of women.

Bangladesh Bank installs solar power

Recently Bangladesh Bank has installed a solar system on the rooftop of it’s main building to reduce pressure on the demand for electricity which is installed at a cost of more than Tk 1 crore on Tuesday. The solar system comprising 116 panels will provide electricity for 171 lights at the governor’s office, one guest room, board room and the main conference room during the day, and boundary wall lighting at night. The solar system, expected to last about 20 years, has an 8 kilowatt capacity. The country produces 3500-4200 MW of electricity against a daily demand for 4000-5200 MW on average, according to official estimates. The government has decided to stop fertilizer production temporarily in the country to divert natural gas to the power plants.

However, the cost of the Bangladesh Bank solar project, which stands at Tk 13,495,000, when scaled up is over 20 times more expensive than conventional power production, which costs around $1 million per megawatt capacity in terms of set up of fossil-fuel based power plants.

Tapping the power of the sun to energize rural areas

Million of rural families in Bangladesh spend their lives in Darkness accompanied by Kerosene fumes. Solar home system (SHS) can be cost effective solution to their problem bringing them dignity, better quality of life and more income.

SHS are 12 volt stand alone systems consisting of a PV module, battery, charge controller, fluorescent lights, and wiring as well as outlet fixtures for installation. A SHS can provide a rural family with reliable power for lighting and operating low powered appliances such as radio, television and mobile phone. A rural family can purchase a SHS at the same amount that it would spend on Kerosene. It will no longer have to suffer noxious fumes, sooths and the accompanying health hazards. Moreover, after three years when full payment of the SHS is completed, the family becomes the owner of the system and will be freed from recurring energy costs. Future cost for maintenance and operation is usually very low. It is no wonder that solar technology is becoming more and more popular among the rural people.

Challenge: Successfully Reaching the Rural People

Solar home systems have become popular among the rural people because of the innovation and sustainable approach Grameen Shakti has developed. Grameen Shakti has shown that advanced technology with high upfront costs can be brought to poor rural villagers in a sustainable and financially viable way. As of date, we have installed 3, 00,000 SHS in remote rural areas throughout Bangladesh-from the Chittagong hill Tracts to the seasonal famine affected areas in the North. At present, we are installing at least 8,000 SHS per month.

The success did not come in single day. The main barriers we had to overcome were high upfront costs and lack of awareness. A SHS capable of powering two to four small appliances costs about US$400.This is too expensive for a rural household in Bangladesh who earn less than US$50 per month. Asking them to pay up-front for a system is like asking them to pay an amount equal to 20 years of electricity in a single payment. A rural household who has never heard of and seen a Solar Home System cannot be expected to invest thousands of his hard earned money in such a technology.

Rural people were unwilling to spend their hard earned money on a new technology about which they did not know anything and without the assurance that local support is available and the potential to earn an income with the technology. Grameen Shakti addressed these issues.

Innovation financing to overcome High Upfront costs and to create ownership

Grameen Shakti does not provide direct grants or subsidies rather by using our micro credit experience we derived a unique financing scheme. Taking into consideration the financial ability or rural households and business, we developed different installment based payment scheme making it affordable for the people to purchase the technology. Grameen Shakti’s customers can become owners of a SHS for the same price as kerosene. A system owner will have reliable clean electricity supply without recurring costs such as monthly energy bills for at least 20 years.

Creating Awareness

Grameen Shakti meets with community leaders and local teachers; conduct door to door visits, distribute leaflets and participate in fairs to raise the awareness and explain the benefits of SHSs to the community.

Once a community becomes aware about the advantage of using a solar home system, it sells itself. A rural family benefiting from the technology will tell their neighbors about it and the popularity and demand for SHS soars in that community. This has been the experience of Grameen Shakti and it is another example of the synergy between market and social forces.

Certificate giving ceremonies are organized for clients who have become proud owners of a system by paying back their entire installment. The client will reward with an umbrella which he/she can use a protection against rain and sun. It motivates our clients to pay back on time. As the umbrella carries Grameen Shakti logo, it is also an important marketing tool for stimulating others to purchase the renewable energy technologies.

Community acceptance and word of mouth advertisement are important aspect for the successful expansion of the program. Therefore, Grameen Shakti does not compromise quality over price and places high value on providing effective after sales support and maintenance.

Ensuring High Quality Services

Grameen Shakti is committed to provide excellent service at minimum cost. This is only way to keep the good will and confidence of its rural clients.

Grameen Shakti’s middle and top level engineers are trained both in house and at other institutions in Bangladesh and abroad. It created partnership with internationally renowned education center and companies to develop special programs for our engineers. Engineers have been sent for training to AIT, Thiland and Japan. Specially training programs are also organized in coordination with the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).These engineers in turn impart their knowledge to our local technicians and that is the reason that we deploy one of the most efficient and dedicated technical staffs at the field level.

Engineer and Technicians listen to client  and together they evaluate their demands and resources to provide them with the appropriate technological design. Grameen Shakti’s technology experts also conduct regular field visits to gather valuable feedback and to effectively tailor the technologies to our customer needs. Furthermore, local service provider ensures proper installation of SHS and sustainable functioning of the technology by offering repair and maintenance services.

At Grameen Shakti, They offer free after sales service on SHS for three years. During this time, their field’s staffs conduct monthly visits to the customer’s home. After the period, customer can enter into an annually renewable maintenance contract with Grameen Shakti at an affordable cost. In addition; customers are also receiving training on proper use and maintenance of the SHS.

They also conduct regular internal audit (six monthly detailed audits and three monthly surprise audits) to ensure high quality of installation, maintenance and excellent performance of the renewable energy technologies.

Being Responsive to Customer Needs

Grameen Shakti continuously evolves its products and approaches for constant improvement and to meet the needs of their clients. They strive to provide customers with technology solutions that would not only help them to improve their quality of life, but also give them the opportunity to generate additional income. In response to market demand, for example developed and now market new devices such as DC-DC converters, safety devices for black and white televisions and mobile chargers.

Increasingly promote small solar home system (SSHS) of 10 and 20 watt to meet the energy needs of the rural people at the lowest income strata. These systems have become popular among rural households and business that cannot afford larger systems. With the objective that rural clients can benefit more from the SSHS, they encourage the use of CFL and LED lamps. As of date, they have installed 2,500 SSHS in the rural areas of Bangladesh and demand is increasing rapidly. SSHS already represent 30% of their total solar system installation requirement.

Grameen Shakti has developed the capacity to assemble SHS components such as charge controllers, mobile chargers and lamps witch permitted further reductions in overall system costs. In addition, they offer a buyback program to their customer allowing them to return their Solar Home System to Grameen Shakti at depreciated prices once they are connected to the electricity grid.

Micro-Utility: A Win-Win Solution

GS has respondent with an innovative model to reach those business and households who do not have enough funds to install a Solar Home System. The micro-utility model allows a group of people to share the costs and benefit of a solar system. This model has become very popular in rural areas where the owner of a Solar Home System rents his additional lamps to neighboring households or businesses. In this way, everybody benefits as they can increase their income and reduce their energy costs.

 The scheme allows a client to access a SHS with 10 % down payment,41 monthly installments and no service charge. After full payment the client becomes the owner he can continue to generate an additional income by selling any access electricity to its neighbors. Already 10,000 customers avail themselves of the micro-utility system.

Rejuvenating Lives and Ventures

Thousands of rural families and businesses have been illuminated by solar light. Darkness has fled from their lives and doors of opportunities opened for them. They are enjoying a better life and more income.

Illuminating Lives and Ventures

Children can study better by solar light. Under the Energy for School initiative, Grameen Shakti installed 11 SHS in School that will provide light and facilitate the use of computers and televisions as an educational tool. Many schools are using solar light to extend the education facilities for working students and adults to the evening hours.

Solar powered radios and televisions’ bring the world closer to the rural people extending their knowledge and bringing new opportunities. Solar powered mobile phone make communication and business transactions easier for people located in off-grid areas. Relatives living far away in cities or abroad can be contracted and valuable price and market information can be easily obtained.

Solar PV program has rejuvenated hundreds of villages. New business such a mobile shops, community TV centers and electronic repair shops have sprung up. Business hours can be extended allowing shopkeepers to earn more income.

Many clinic use SHS to provide lighting during check-ups and operations. Under the char livelihood Program, GS already installed 30 solar powers refrigerators to proide cooling facilities for storing medication and vaccines.

Solar Energy to Empower Women

Women are one of the main victims of the energy crisis. With the access to solar electricity their live is transformed. Women no longer have to endure dangerous kerosene fumes. They can finish their household duties more easily and in less time by not having to clean kerosene lamps. By using chargeable carry along lights, women can also enjoy more security and increased mobility. Many have transformed their homes into income generating centers by opening small business such as poultry farming and handicrafts.

One of the most successful examples of synergy between technology and women empowerment is the Grameen Shakti initiated Polli phone program. Under this program thousands of women use solar power to charge mobile phone allowing them to run profitable mobile phone business in off-grid areas. Without access to SHS, these services could not exist.

Replacing Kerosene for a Brighter Future

Villager could reduce dependence on imported oil such as Kerosene. This makes a positive contribution to reducing carbon dioxide emission and its effect on Global warming. Every year around 95 million liters of kerosene are replaced by Solar Home System that Grameen Shakti has installed.

While replace kerosene with clean solar electricity, Bangladesh is also saving a huge amount on foreign currency each year. Current installation 225,000 SHS save Bangladesh at least US$63 million in kerosene import costs every year.

FEW CASE STUDIES

Mr.Rony has a pharmacy in Mauna.He has  purchased a 20 watt Solar system from Grameen Shakti on credit and he is very pleased with the benefits of getting better light at lower cost. After sunset he could only run his business for one more hour using the dim light of a kerosene lamp for which he had to pay BD tk.500 a month. Now he is enjoying the bright light of a solar system paying only BD tk.320 in monthly installments over a period of three years. The bright light in his shop also attract more customers allowing him to increase his monthly income by BD tk.600 per day. He is renting one neighboring shop providing him with an additional income of BD tk.6 per day.

A Women Entrepreneur sewing under Solar light:

I have installed a solar home system in my tailoring shop. This is helping me to continue my business after dusk. I can also see clearly and save on kerosene cost. My customers also like the bright light.”

Solar power helps Cottage industry and help women to earn income:

“I and other women gather after dusk to sew handicraft at home. We do our work under solar light. This is helping me and other women to make more income. I am also able to finish my household work quickly under better light. I do not suffer any longer from kerosene fumes.”

Project Impact of GS

The local communities will benefit as a whole because they will have easier access to SHS technology as the costs will come down due to decentralized local production. This means local communities will get easier access to environment friendly renewable energy at lower costs in order to meet their socio-economic needs. Therefore the following indirect impact will take place:

a)Productive hour will be increased

b) New business and employment opportunities will be created

c) Quality of life would increase such as better education and entertainment opportunities for children, lesser burden on women

d)Technology transfer  at the grass- root level will take place and

e) Local transport business of the increased ferrying of SHS accessories.

Approximately 100,000 people will be directly and indirectly benefited by 2007 and more than a million by 2015

  • GS plan to install 130,000 SHSs by 2007 and a million SHSs by 2015.This project will benefit the existing and projected SHS owners.SHS owners will have easier access to SHS accessories and have their repair, maintenance needs easily taken care of. Women empowerment will be enhanced because this project will create employment opportunity for them. Training of women from user households on repair and maintenance will also empower rural women by increasing their decision making power and giving them additional responsibilities. Approximately 11000 rural women will be directly benefited within three years and more in the coming years.
  • The project will also create linkage business and entrepreneurships such as development of local manufacturing business of SHS accessories, batteries, mobile repairing shops, electronic manufacturing and repairing shops in long run.

Project Objectives & Components:

Project Objectives:

  • Women empowerment through ownership and control over assets
  • Building the capacity of the rural poor women for economic leadership
  • Development of human resource
  • Technology transfer
  • Development of new appliances
  • Employment opportunities and scaling up of SHS program

Project Components:

  • 30 GTCs set up
  • 1000 Women technician trained for repair and maintenance and assembling of SHSs and other electronic equipment
  • Training one women from each of the 5000 user families on proper use, repair and maintenance of SHSs
  • Developing awareness of 10,0000 student on renewable energy
  • Training 300 GS engineers on renewable energy to implement all project activities efficiently

Project Achievement:

  • 20 GTCs have been set up as of April 2007
  • 60 women engineers have been employed as of March 2007
  • 10 GTCs have started producing lampshades, Dc- Dc converters etc
  • 2075 women technicians and 300 women SHS users have been trained till April
  • Minimum 5000 women technicians will be trained and 1000 school children will gain understanding about renewable energy.

Findings

In our study we have found some specific problems. These are given bellow:

  • The initial cost is the main disadvantage of installing a solar energy system, largely because of the high cost of the semi-conducting materials used in building one.
  • The cost of solar energy is also high compared to non-renewable utility-supplied electricity. As energy shortages are becoming more common, solar energy is becoming more price-competitive.
  • Solar panels require quite a large area for installation to achieve a good level of efficiency.
  • The efficiency of the system also relies on the location of the sun, although this problem can be overcome with the installation of certain components.
  • The production of solar energy is influenced by the presence of clouds or pollution in the air.
  • Similarly, no solar energy will be produced during nighttime although a battery backup system and/or net metering will solve this problem
  • Similarly, low solar energy will be produced during in rainy season.

After field work we have identified these sorts of findings

Recommendation

Every research has specific purpose. Behind this research we have also specific purpose. As our main objective is to find out the problems and possibilities of solar energy business in Bangladesh and the consumer purchasing behavior of solar energy system based on this objectives we have done our research. After gathering and analyzing all the data we have identified some problems.

Based on our analyzing and findings we would also like to recommend some additional actions that we think will make the solar energy more efficient and reliable as a business and also for consumer.

We have the following recommendation for solar energy system

  • Government should reduce VAT/taxes on solar accessories and raw materials   especially batteries.
  • Striving to remove this demand and supply gap.
  • Government should provide very low interest loans to rural people for buying the solar system.
  • Solar energy is not available at night, rainy day, and winter, making energy storage an important issue.
  • Should be reducing initial installation costs.
  • Government should give more licenses for this business.
  • Organization should improve monitoring system on solar system to maintain quality full service.
  • Government should set solar system in governmental organization to reduce load shedding.
  • Organization should give proper training facility to using this system.

So, if above mentioned recommendation can be implemented in proper way, we believe that Government, Solar business and customers will be benefited. It will be possible to minimize the dissatisfaction level of all related parties.

Conclusion

Producing electricity with solar system like other renewable energy sources has become a silent revolution in Bangladesh. Solar PV energy is now being successfully used for home lighting as a sustainable source of energy. Although it had started in Bangladesh in the off grid area for rural lighting, now urban applications are increasing day by day through hybrid system either through grid or genets. There is a huge possibility of solar energy business in Bangladesh. Bangladesh government should take necessary steps to motivate the business persons as well as the consumer.

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