LESSONS FROM DEPLOYING LARGE-SCALE SOLAR ELECTRIFICATION IN BANGLADESH: CAN THE LAST MILE BECOME THE FIRST?
Free (open access)
75 - 86
GEORG HEINEMANN, RALUCA DUMITRESCU, CHRISTIAN VON HIRSCHHAUSEN, NOARA KEBIR, DANIEL PHILIPP
With over four million solar home systems (SHSs) deployed, Bangladesh stands out in the development of decentral, bottom-up electrification. Amid a difficult socio-economic and political environment, joint efforts by local authorities, financing institutions, entrepreneurs and engineers, supported by international donors, a community-based infrastructure development, largely based on local value creation, has succeeded. This paper discusses the success factors of the Bangladeshi SHS development over the last two decades and its current ambitions, focussing on the organizational models deployed, amongst others, on value-added production and financing. We then provide a critical assessment of the perspectives to make the last mile the first one, i.e. to use SHS as the driver of decentral, yet grid-based electrification. Last but not least, we give an outlook towards the potential of “swarm electrification”, i.e. the bottom-up (r)evolution of the energy infrastructure by interconnecting existing and new electricity usages, storages and generation, enabling a peer economy based on prosumerism and local value creation.
bottom-up electrification, off-grid organizational model, IDCOL SHS program, decentral infrastructure development, microgrid, swarm electrification, last-mile distribution