Bangladeshi Solar Project SOLshare Wins Prestigious UN Award
Trailblazing Initiative to be Honoured at UN Climate Conference in Marrakech
(Bonn, Germany, 29 September 2016) – A ground-breaking project based in Bangladesh that allows villagers to earn income by selling excess solar energy was announced today as one of 13 winners of a United Nations climate change award.
With the help of ME SOLshare’s innovative technical solution, marginalized households without the means to finance their own solar home systems are able to purchase clean electricity from their neighbours, at low cost. On the one hand, this contributes to displacing the more expensive kerosene responsible for indoor and greenhouse gas pollution; on the other hand, it lowers the financial barrier represented by the high initial down payment required for acquiring a solar home system, bringing clean energy to the non-bankable population.
“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,” said Dr. Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of ME SOLshare. “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.”
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.
In Bangladesh, based on the already 4+ million solar home systems installed in the field, ME SOLshare expects to operate more than 10,000 nanogrids by the end of 2030, which will supply more than 1million end-users in Bangladesh.
The Momentum for Change initiative is spearheaded by the UN Climate Change secretariat to shine a light on some of the most innovative, scalable 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,” said UNFCCC Spokesperson Nick Nuttall. “ME SOLshare 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.”
The SOLshare project was awarded under the Momentum for Change ICT Solutions focus area for its work to harness the power of ICT in the fight against climate change whilst benefitting local communities, and serving as a role model for other countries.
Together with the other winning projects, it will be showcased at a series of special events during the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, Morocco (7-18 November 2016).
The 2016 Lighthouse Activities were selected by an international advisory panel as part of the secretariat’s Momentum for Change initiative, which operates in partnership with the World Economic Forum Global Project on Climate Change and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.