Amongst all of UN prestigious awards, Bangladesh has brought home one. The project behind this honor will change the lives of many, those who live in rural areas. The photovoltaic (PV) project lets the villagers sell excess solar energy. The innovation was amongst 13 other winners of the United Nations climate change awards.
SOL share's innovative technical solutions aided the marginalized households as most of them could not afford their own solar power systems, and thus are able to purchase clean electricity from nearby households at low cost. Despite all the hardships, having affordable electricity is a major stepping stone for the rural Bangladesh.
This method doesn’t only use renewable energy but also lessens carbon emission as; the villagers need not burn expensive kerosene. The burning of these fossil fuels greatly contributes for ozone layers depletion and greenhouse effect. It also lowers the financial barrier represented by the high initial down payment required for acquiring a solar home system, and brings clean energy to the non-bankable population.
ME-SOLshare, founded in 2014 as a German-Bangladeshi spin-off of MicroEnergy International GmbH, has successfully piloted the world's first swarm grid, an ICT-enabled peer-to-peer electricity trading network for rural households with and without solar home systems in Shariatpur of Bangladesh. The grid is the first implementation of swarm electrification where the Technical University Berlin researched the particulars while the concept was given by MicroEnergy International.
Along with its implementation partner, the NGO UBOMUS, its financing partner IDCOL and research partner United International University - Centre for Energy Research, ME-SOLshare combines solar home systems, and centralized mini-grids to enable more rural households to access renewable electricity at a lower cost.
“Bangladesh is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, yet its people set an impressive example in resilience and innovation in the face of such adversity. We are deeply honored that the bold idea of ME-SOLshare was chosen as a Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity, transforming the way people use and pay for energy. ME-SOLshare creates solar networks, shares electricity and facilitates a low-carbon future in Bangladesh and around the globe.” said Sebastian Groh, managing director of ME-SOLshare.
ME-SOLshare hopes to operate more than 10,000 nano-grids by the end of 2030. In Bangladesh already around 4 million homes have solar systems installed in the field.
The Momentum for Change initiative is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to highlight some of the most innovative, affordable, feasible and replicable examples of what people are doing to address climate change.
“It is impressive to see so many original and creative ways to tackle climate change, ME-SOL-share is proof that climate action is building in countries, communities, companies and cities everywhere. Not only do this year's winning activities address climate change, but they also help drive forward progress on many other Sustainable Development Goals, such as innovation, gender equality and economic opportunity.” said UNFCCC Spokesperson Nick Nuttall.
The fun does not end there for ME-SOLshare, it will be showcased at a series of special event along with all the other winning projects, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco which is to be held on November 7-18, 2016