Electricity is a very important factor in improving the economy and the standard of living of a country. It must be generated using the national resource of that country. Bangladesh largely depends on natural gas and hydropower stations to generate major portion of power. Unfortunately, the country lags behind than its expected production capacity. Bangladesh is experiencing an acute shortage of electric power that is likely to be worsen day by day which stresses the need for the deployment of renewable energy resources to address this energy crisis. Renewable energy is the energy that comes from different types of natural resources mainly sunlight, wind, rain, tides, and geo thermal heat, bio-diesel, bio-fuel etc. In Bangladesh, nearly 72% of the population lives in rural areas and renewable energy is considered to be the right choice for providing clean energy to these remote settlement. Padakhep, since its inception, has taken some environment-friendly initiatives to fulfill the need of power for the rural areas through alternative sources of energy.
Solar Energy Program
In Bangladesh, more than a quarter of the rural population still do not have access to electricity. For millions of people, daily activities like cooking, working and studying are difficult, or even impossible, after sundown. But off-grid solar power is rapidly changing all this. Solar power is changing the lives of people in rural areas, people can now work, study and go out after dark. Presently, Bangladesh has one of the world’s largest domestic solar energy programs. The World Bank and other development organizations, along with the private sector, are working with the government to bring affordable, solar-powered electricity to places where the traditional grid doesn’t reach. Off-grid solar home systems are improving living standards for people in rural areas of Bangladesh day by day.
Padakhep started solar program in 2005 to fulfill basic electricity requirement of the off-grid rural people of Bangladesh as well as supplement the Government’s vision of ensuring access to electricity for all citizens of Bangladesh by 2021. Aim of the program is to improve livelihood status of the poor people having no access to electricity by ensuring supply of renewable solar energy and thereby ensuring clean environment. Padakhep’s solar program mainly targets those areas which have no access to conventional electricity and little chance of getting connected to the national grid within 5 to 10 years.
Padakhep has installed solar home systems, solar streetlight and AC/DC system in Birol, Panchhari, Pirgachha, Fulbari and Taragonj Upazilas with the support of IDCOL under TR/KABITA (Grameen Infrastructure Repairing Project, an initiative of Government of Bangladesh).
Major objective of the project is to improve livelihood status of the poor beneficiaries by providing supply of renewable solar energy and thereby ensure clean environment.
Overall Impacts of the program