Surge in Solar-Powered Homes Experience in Off-Grid Rural Bangladesh

This report, sponsored by GPOBA, assesses the welfare impact of Bangladesh's rapid solar home systems (SHS) expansion on households, and evaluates the present institutional structure and financing mechanisms in place. It addresses a number of research issues, which are grouped according to general and gendered household impact, program delivery and monitoring of technical standards, market size and demand, and carbon emissions reduction.

Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in raising living standards and reducing poverty, particularly in previously lagging regions. Rapid SHS expansion in Bangladesh to some 3 million rural households by early 2014 has drawn the attention of donors and governments of other countries.

The book’s broad aim is twofold: (a) to assess the welfare impact of SHS on households, and (b) to evaluate the present institutional structure and financing mechanisms in place, noting that households want cheaper systems and good quality service while suppliers require a reasonable market-based profit to stay in business.