A joint US and Bangladesh company called SOLARIC has developed a grid product solution for small-scale rural areas. The company calls its product “Nano-Grid,” which is an inverter-less solar power system with a battery bank, optimizer, and solar PV panels that manages electricity generation and distribution for about 50 homes. At the same time, Nano-Grid can provide power for irrigation pumps, which are of critical importance for agriculture. Each Nano-Grid also converts electricity produced by solar panels to 220V DC.
Local people can invest in a Nano-Grid system and make money by selling power to other villagers for a monthly fee. In other words, an investor could pay for part of a Nano-Grid system and then make about $125 a month by providing electricity to 50 homes locally. In such a case, villagers would not be paying a large corporation; they would pay a local person who managed the Nano-Grid.
It is estimated that when Nano-Grid is used for a small village, an end-user could power a TV, fan, and 4–5 LED lights for about $5 a month. Nano-Grid is an improvement over the alternative, which is a 12V system that also charges end users more. Appliances that are 12V are generally harder to obtain and there are fewer of them, and are also more costly. Nano-Grid’s electricity can also about 50% cheaper than diesel fuel, which is what many people use in Bangladesh.
“I see something new — I see people of Bangladesh and rural areas abroad, empowered by electricity through Nano technology. Solaric and Bangladesh is making history and is showing the way for the world,” US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mr. Dan Mozena, explained.
Nano-Grid may prove to be effective in other rural parts of the world with no electricity access, like Africa and other parts of Asia. We’ll see.
About 67% of Bangladesh’s population is rural, according to the World Bank, and the country’s total population is about 156 million. That means over 100 million people live in the rural areas of Bangladesh. About 45 million people in Bangladesh live in poverty, and most of these people live in rural areas.