Grameen Shakti( gshakti – GS ), a member of the Grameen family was incorporated in 1996, as a not for profit company to promote, develop and popularize renewable energy technologies in remote, rural areas of Bangladesh.

Grameen Shakti ( GS ) envisages a future where rural households of Bangladesh, would have access to environment friendly and pollution free energy at affordable costs

Grameen Shakti Programs At a Glance 2006 :
Number of district covered64 out of 64 districts
Number of upazila covered400 upazila (sub district) out of 464
Number of villages covered25,000 villages
Number of island coveredc11 islands
Total beneficiariesMore than 700,000 people
Unit office227
Total employee1135 (mostly engineers)
Total installation of SHS77,000
Installed power capacity3.85 MW
Daily power generation capacity16 MW-hr
Installation rateOver 2000 SHS/ month
Installation of micro utility system1000 system
Installation of biogas plant500 (Up to October 2006)
Number of trained technician2,075 technicians
Number of trained customer43,115 users
Number of full payee customer20,000 customers
User under maintenance agreement1,314 customers
Number of LED installed10,485 lamps
Future plan- total installation of SHS by 2007130,000 SHS
Future plan- biogas plant installation by 2010200,000 plants
Keys to Success :
At present , Grameen Shakti ( GS ) is one of the largest and fastest growing renewable energy technologies to reach the rural people. It has successfully developed a market based approach. The basis of Grameen Shakti’s success is an innovative system for financing the solar home systems by villagers. This system is based on experiences from Grameen Bank’s micro-credit program. Other key factors include, linking renewable energy technologies with income generating activities, and providing efficient services at the local level through renewable energy entrepreneurs. Simultaneously, communities are motivated through awareness raising campaigns to establish new renewable energy businesses and create employment opportunities. GS also focuses on developing and pilot testing innovative approaches to reach the rural people with renewable energy technologies such as micro-utility model, community based biogas plants, innovative payment methodologies including payment through slurry, supply of livestock on credit to make biogas plants feasible.
The Key factors can be summarized as follows:
Ownership Model in which individuals take responsibilities to lower risk and maximize benefits
No direct subsidies but soft loans for lowering costs
Appropriate program design bridging the gap between most up to date modern technologies and the rural communities
Motivation and community involvement
Ensuring quality services at the local level
Developing innovative financial and technical packages to take up to date technology to the rural communities and reach low income groups
Continuous research and development to bring down costs
Training the staff to carry out multiple tasks and be social engineers dedicated to serving the people
Maximizing income and product diversification by linking appropriate technologies with income generation
Understanding target market
Effective monitoring from bottom up and continuous feed back between Head Office and the field
Developing renewable energy entrepreneurs at the rural level to reach the rural people with diversified services at minimum costs.

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