This startup lets villagers create mini power grids for their neighbors

In a remote village Bangladeshi village called Shikarpur, until recently, few people had electricity. But a new system is beginning to connect the village’s handful of solar-powered homes with neighbors who can’t afford to own panels themselves. In the peer-to-peer system, neighbors can sell extra electricity to each other. “The aim is to create efficient and dynamic local energy markets that empower households and encourage solar entrepreneurism,” says Sebastian Groh, managing director of Solshare , the startup making the technology now in use in Bangladesh. [Photo: Solshare] The startup launched when the founders realized that Bangladesh had a growing number of home solar panels–a government program in 2014 aimed to double the number of home systems–and those solar panels were generating more power in the middle of the day than residents could use and store in small batteries. Around 30% of the energy may be wasted. At the same time, when someone living off the grid in Bangladesh wants to charge a mobile phone, they can pay as much as 100 times more for the electricity than someone living on the grid in a city. Neighbors were already beginning to informally rent out power by running cables to their […]

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