The Bangladeshi government is currently working toward providing electricity to the entire country via solar home systems by 2021. Currently 15 million Bangladeshi homes are now powered by solar home systems, or SHS, under a government program to provide power to communities with no access to grid electricity.
The country is currently carrying out the project with financial assistance with the World Bank and other financial partners. The government plans to generate 220 megawatts of electricity for an estimated six million homes by 2017.
A 250 watt panel can produce upward of one kilowatt of power per day. Each solar home system is installed on the roof of an individual home with a solar panel.
According to the government-owned Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), which began the solar home system project in 2003, 3.5 million households — about 10 percent of the country’s total — installed SHS by the end of 2014.
“Every month, 50,000-60,000 Bangladeshi households are connected with a solar home system. In May 2014, more than 80,000 connections were made,” expressed Mahmood Malik, head of IDCOL. The company runs the program with the support of 47 partners, including nongovernmental organizations and businesses.
“We are more than happy, because we don’t have power cuts in our system. But for those who are connected with the national grid, blackouts are regular,” says Rafiqul Islam.