Opportunity for Women in Renewable Energy Technology Use in Bangladesh. This was initiated in 1999 with $175,000 from ESMAP as a project in Char Montaz, a coastal island in Bangladesh, with technical assistance from Prokaushali Sangsad Ltd (PSL). South Asia Partnership, Bangladesh, an NGO provided initial support in social mobilization and micro-credit. The project provided skill and renewable energy technology training to 32 poor women in Char Montaz and assited them in establishing the Coastal Women's Electrification and Development Microenterprise, which now has become a SME with 117 employees.
Diversification: Initially, it was assembling of DC lamps and providing services through battery charging station. Now the SME has moved to assembling CFL and LED lamps, controllers and inverters of solar home system (SHS) and mobile phone chargers. It has provided SHS to almost 30,000 households, small enterprises and markets in coastal areas, where grid electrification is not a feasible option.
The lessons from this project was taken into a larger project: Bangladesh Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development ($200m). In this project, nearly 200,000 SHS are provided to poor households in remote areas. Grameen Shaki, Srijani, TMSS and other NGOs learnt from this project and made micro-finance available to the poor households for SHS.