Implementation of Solar Home Systems in Bangladesh: Feasibility

In Bangladesh the climate, despite the monsoons, seems well suited for solar energy as a form of renewable energy.  The form of photovoltaics most attractive to the people of Bangladesh is the solar home system (SHS) which would provide electricity for lighting and other uses to households across the country. Currently the people of Bangladesh burn kerosene for lighting and use dry cell batteries mostly for radio.  SHS would eliminate the burning of kerosene and the waste of batteries. It was determined that it would be financially smart for small business and household lighting and entertainment (but not lighting only). — Teija Mortvedt 
Mondal, A. H., 2009. Economic Viability of Solar Systems: Case Study of Bangladesh. Renewable Energy 35, 1125–1129.

 Alam Hossian Mondal of the Center for Development Research the University of Bonn studied three villages, Niz Mawna, Barabo and Dhonua to determine whether it was economically beneficial to use SHS’s to provide electricity in order to prevent the use of other non-renewable energy sources.
SHS eliminates the need for kerosene burning lamps, which in turn eliminates large quantities of CO2 emissions. After considering per ton CO2 reduction costs it was determined SHS would yield an annual saving of 70 Taka (60 Taka = 1 USD) per household.
A typical SHS includes a photovoltaic (PV) array, and a rechargeable battery for energy storage.  This system could be implemented via standard solar application on rooftops. These roofs belong to rural customers who are not in the habit of buying large systems, and usually do not buy everything unless they see the perceived benefits of the purchase.  Therefore if SHS is to be implemented it must be seen as a worthy investment by the rural home and business-owners.
It was shown that due to the high initial capital and installation costs, SHS would not be affordable unless subsidized to at least some degree. Once subsidized properly, people would be inclined to purchase the system, resulting in a chain reaction and increased SHS popularity.  However the SHS is only economical for households if they are using the electricity for some uses other than lighting. It would almost always be good for small businesses to utilize, decreasing costs in the long run and decreasing CO2 emissions from halted use of kerosene. 

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