- Category: Yunus
- Published on Saturday, 19 May 2012 12:20
Grameen Shakti brings green energy, health, income and green jobs to rural Bangladesh.
Access to energy is a fundamental condition for modern technology and thus foreconomic development. Failing to fulfill this condition means excluding people from the benefits of modern technology. In Bangladesh, however, over 60 percent of people do not have access to electricity. No more than 12 percent of the Bangladeshi population has electricity access over the whole day, making it impossible for them to effectively study or work after dusk.
Social business solution:
In the face of this deficiency, Grameen Shakti was founded in 1996 for the purpose of selling solar energy panels especially to the poor rural population in Bangladesh. Customers can pay their solar panels in monthly rates over a period of two to three years. The rates are collected by Grameen Shakti engineers, who also provide maintenance services for a small fee. Besides the access to energy, Grameen Shakti gives poor people new working opportunities as technicians or operators of chargeable television kiosks.
In addition Grameen Shakti sells biogas plants which convert biomass into methane. The methane can either be used as a combustible or with the according equipment to generate electricity. Currently Grameen Shakti is one of the largest and fastest growing rural-based renewable energy companies in the world, installing over 4,000 solar energy collectors per month. Therefore Grameen Shakti demonstrates that contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by the United Nations is not in any way contradictory to being a financially successful and expanding business.
Operating as a highly successful social business, Grameen Shakti plans to set up 1000 unit offices in the next 4 years to install one million solar energy collectors by 2016. Furthermore the installation of biogas plants is growing exponentially, and over 15,000 plants have been