Grameen Shakti is a rural-based solar energy company that helped to spearhead Bangladesh’s transition into the country with the largest solar home system programme in the world. ME SOLshare is a social enterprise located in Bangladesh that offers information communication technology (ICT) enabled products and services, including peer-to-peer solar energy trading platforms and pay-as-you-go solutions to low-income households.
Working together, the institutions plan to provide villagers the opportunity to become solar entrepreneurs by creating a platform where solar home system users and non-users can exchange electricity. A platform is born in a greenfield environment where the national grid has not reached; whereby a group of villagers agree on setting up a platform network that consists of solar assets owned by the people. The interconnection of solar home system users and non-users allows villagers to save money through flexible energy access- securing more power, and most notably, generating an income from trading electricity. The platforms can also serve as remote rickshaw charging stations in off-grid areas, further strengthening village prosperity and encouraging mutual benefits.
The innovative capacities and capabilities of the platform are leveraged to transform the solar home system sector from a consumptive one into an income-generating value proposition. The Grameen Shakti and ME SOLshare approach leverages existing resources to create numerous business opportunities for the Bangladeshi villagers and with potential for replication throughout under-electrified regions across the world.