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Grameen Shakti, empowerment through renewable energy

Page history last edited by Rosemary 9 years, 2 months ago

Grameen Shakti, empowerment through renewable energy

Grameen Shakti uses renewable technology to empower disadvantaged rural women with clean energy and opportunities to earn a living. Initiated in 1996 by the co-builders of the Grameen Bank, Grameen Shakti envisages a future where the rural households of Bangladesh will have access to environmentally friendly and pollution-free energy at affordable costs, and sees its program as the first step to break the social and economic divide between those who have energy and those who do not.

The company, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, won a Tech Museum Equality Award in 2007 for its work. The award noted that in rural parts of the developing world, people depend on kerosene and other fuels that cost too much, damage the environment, and cause cancer and asthma, especially in women who spend their days in smoke-filled rooms.

Grameen Shakti brings power and empowerment to rural areas. They train women in the use of safe, renewable energy through Solar Home Systems, biogas production, and Improved Cook Stoves. Women purchase Shakti solar-power systems with microcredit, and make a living installing and repairing them. The power also gives them the light they need to work and provides connections to the world through mobile phones and radios.

 

UPDATE: Grameen Shakti wins 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award from Ashden Awards

 

Posted to YouTube by Ashden Awards June 24, 2008.

Grameen Shakti won a first prize Ashden Award in 2006 for providing photovoltaic (PV) solar-home-systems through affordable loans to 65,000 households in Bangladesh. Its work has expanded rapidly and diversified. With 2,000 staff now operating from 400 local offices, a total of 150,000 solar-home-systems have been installed. In the past two years Grameen Shakti has also sold 14,000 cheap, efficient cooking stoves and 3,000 biogas plants. Trained technicians, mostly women, manufacture components in 20 technology centres, and install and service systems. Some of these technicians have become independent entrepreneurs. Grameen Shakti aims to have provided a million solar-home-systems, 10 million improved stoves, and half a million biogas plants by 2015.

See the Ashden Awards case study here.

 

For other stories about solar power, see:

Unique rental model brings solar power to remote Lao villages

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Women from four Malawi villages bring home solar power, and a prestigious award

Solar power brings electricity, water and education to Dominican Republic

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