Grameen Shakti wins Green Oscar
Bangladesh's rural development bank, Grameen Shakti on Wednesday bagged the coveted 'Green Energy Prize', dubbed as the Green Oscar, for its role in income generation among rural population through installation of solar home systems.
The Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy recognises and rewards inspirational renewable energy projects, which provides social and economic benefits for their local community and protect environment.
A non-profit organisation, Grameen Shakti, has installed 1,50,000 solar home systems in rural and remote areas of Bangladesh and is credited with training 1,000 women entrepreneurs to assemble solar home systems and cooking stoves.
"Having solar power changes peoples' lives dramatically. The clean, bright light helps children study, can improve income, and provides a far more pleasant environment to live and work in," the organisers of the Ashden Awards said.
"We hope that the award supports Grameen Shakti in the ambitious goal of installing one million solar home systems and 10 million improved cooking stoves by 2015," said Sarah Butler-Sloss, the founder and chair of the Ashden Awards.
Around 70 per cent homes in Bangladesh have no electricity and rely on kerosene for lighting, which is smoky and involves a fire risk.
Grameen Shakti supplied small 20 Wp systems - typically for two lights and a radio or phone charger - that can be paid through micro loans.
In November 2007, when cyclone Sidr struck Bangladesh, majority of solar installations survived its impact and solar mobile phones warned people of the cyclone's approach.