The International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank Group’s soft loan subsidiary, has given US$78.4 billion to the Bangladesh Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development II (RERED II) Project in order to finance solar home systems (SHS) in Bangladesh.
The government of Bangladesh signed off on the financing move Monday, which will help install over 480,000 PV systems in the country. The SHS project is current installing 70,000 systems in Bangladesh every month – which is the fastest growing SHS program in the world. Over 3 million systems have already been installed in the country.
At the moment over 42% of people in rural Bangladesh have no access to electricity, which makes solar home systems one of the few viable options for millions living in areas of the country with little to no sources of power.
Arastoo Khan, additional secretary of the economic relations division, Government of Bangladesh, said: “This repeater project is building up on our efforts to support the government’s vision of providing universal access to electricity. The benefits of using solar homes systems include increased study time for children, empowerment of women through knowledge from TV viewing, income generation from mobile phone recharging services, as well as contribution to emissions reduction as a result of kerosene replacement.”
So far, the RERED II Project has provided clean energy to over 414,000 homes in the country, assisting over 2 million people in the process. Over 1,450 biogas plants and 40 solar irrigation plants have also been supported by the undertaking.