SOLshare, the pioneer of the micro-energy transition model, interconnects solar home systems (SHS) and empowers its users to trade electricity among each other as they please.
SOLshare successfully piloted the world’s first swarm grid in Shariatpur, Bangladesh, which was covered in the New York Times and Harvard Business Review, among other media outlets. The swarm grid or "Swarm Electrification" is an innovative energy access concept, developed by SOLshare, that allows peer-to-peer electricity trading, where excess energy from solar home systems (SHS) is diverted to poorer households that cannot afford their own units. SOLshare expects to operate more than 20,000 nano grids by the end of 2021, reaching 1 million customers in Bangladesh
Kerosene is the primary source of energy of many marginalized communities in Bangladesh that cannot be connected to the limited electricity grid. While some households can afford SHS, the cost is too high for most poor households. SOLshare’s swarm electrification lowers the financial barrier, represented by the high cost of owning SHS units, to access clean energy through the trading of excess power from installed SHS units, at low costs. The mechanism displaces kerosene that poses significant health and environmental risks to the communities.
SOLshare's implementation partner includes the NGO UBOMUS. SOLshare has raised approx. USD 900,000 in a mix of grants, prize money, and convertible notes from institutions such as the ADB-Energy for All, GSMA - Mobile for Development, the GIZ Bangladesh, the WB/ IDCOL, and a mix of individuals and social impact funds for the convertible notes.
SOLshare was awarded the 2016 UN Momentum for Change Award as a lighthouse project , 2016 the Intersolar Award as well as the 2017 Start-Up Energy Transition Award by DENA - German Energy Agency.
Around 12 million households in Bangladesh have no access to the electricity grid and depend on kerosene as their primary energy source. Indoor burning of kerosene does not only pose a significant health hazard, but its high cost also eats into households’ small incomes.
Some households within the community have installed solar home systems (SHS) as their primary energy source. However, an average household utilizes approximately only 70% of the electricity generated by the SHS. The remaining 30% is wasted due to standardized energy storage capacities. SOLshare saw the opportunity in capturing surplus SHS-generated power and distributing them to households with no SHS units. Together with its partners, SOLshare developed the technology that would allow trading of electricity among SHS-owners and non-owners.
SOLshare’s Swarm Electrification is a decentralized bottom-up sharing system that links individual solar PV systems to form a mini-grid that can potentially provide power to entire communities. The Swarm mechanism diverts excess energy generated by solar home systems (SHS) to poorer households in the community that do not own SHS. In time, an autonomous swarm micro-grid is created, allowing users to share the energy that has been individually produced and stored.
The SOLshare Box is the technology behind the swarm concept. It is a bi-directional meter that allows users to buy and sell electricity from the grid through a net-metering scheme. An ICT-based (Information and Communications Technology) platform has been set-up to facilitate the trading of excess energy. Non-SHS users are provided with the SOLshare controller that allows them to buy excess electricity produced by SHS owners through a pay-as-you-go scheme.
SOLshare teams up with experienced Partner Organizations (POs) that have an existing distribution network and extensive experience in working with the target communities. With the POs, SOLshare provides mini-grid maintenance, operation of the platform, and payment collection.
Surplus energy generated by Solar Hom...
SOLshare and its partners developed t...
The swarm grid is an ICT-enabled elec...
Sebastian Groh, Managing Director
Daniel Ciganovic, Head of Business Development
Hannes Kirchhoff, CTO
Aziza Sultana Mukti, Head of Operations
Robert Kraybill (Asia IIX)
Daniel Kammen (UC Berkeley)
Asian Development Bank
Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund (GSMA)
Infrastructure Development Company, Ltd.
Holger Feist (former CTO of Q-Cells)
Hartmut Schuening (former CFO of Q-Cells)
Andrew Reicher (Berkeley Energy Africa)
Karthik Chandrasekar (Sangam Ventures)
Noara Kebir (MicroEnergy International)
Shajir Ahmed (Super Group of Companies, Bangladesh)