2 Bangladesh firms get $1m UN grant for solar power

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In recognition of a novel project to spur solar entrepreneurship, two Bangladeshi companies have received $1 million 2017 UN Energy grant from United Nations.

The UN DESAgrant was awarded to Grameen Shakti and ME SOLshare at the United Nations Headquarters in New York yesterday, reads an UN press release.

The two companies were recognised for their joint project that will allow villagers to secure more solar power, save money through flexible energy access, and generate income from trading electricity.

The partnership estimates that the grant money will enable them to establish a minimum of 100 smart grids resulting in at least 15,000 beneficiaries.  But the impact of the grant is going to be greater, as it is likely to inspire more such initiatives, UN said.

“Grameen Shakti and SOLshare are deeply honored that our innovative idea of creating a countrywide platform where villagers can share their solar electricity among each other and become smart entrepreneurs has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Powering the Future We Want Grant Challenge by UN DESA,” the winning partnership said in a statement.

DESA Under-Secretary-General Liu Zhenmin said the “Powering the Future We Want” programme is a “creative partnership that connects the intergovernmental work at UN Headquarters to action on the ground.”

He added, “Over the past years, this energy grant has proved to be valuable in raising awareness, building capacity, and recognizing ingenuity in promoting sustainable energy.”