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ME SOLshare Ltd bridging planet and prosperity through rural electrification and smart grids.

Empowering rural communities in areas outside national grid connection through peer to peer decentralized, de-carbonized electrification.

Photo of Tawhidul Islam
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

The bridge between planet and prosperity can be linked here at SOLshare, a social enterprise and an energetic team from Dhaka Bangladesh who are pro-actively working for the development of rural communities all over Bangladesh and envisions to move overseas in the near future. The idea of the project is to enrich rural communities in terms of eradicating energy poverty by creating a platform for individuals to share energy from one to another through a shared platform of SOLboxes (our flagship product which incorporates a blockchain technology and can detect the buying and selling of energy transmitted from every individual who are connected to our SOLgrids). We have tested the pilot stage and already have some real time end users and are expanding in scale, till now SOLproducers who have been selling excess levels of solar energy have been generating income from it and have become smart entrepreneurs.

We have till now conducted the project in the most extreme parts of Bangladesh in the rural north and the rural south and so far it has been successful. There are 4.2 million solar home systems in Bangladesh thus with already a ready-made infrastructure, we have already been benefited and most of our work is already done. Some households are energy rich with a working solar system and a lot of excess energy production gets lost, while other households are deprived off energy and living in complete poverty. We create a bridge between these two groups and ensure that their is a balance between the households. The project is highly sustainable as it harvests and uses renewable energy directly from the sun and with rural communities specializing in the use of light engineering, these can easily run on solar energy. We can achieve Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG7) and also due to women empowerment through smart entrepreneurship, we are creating Gender Equality (SDG5) and the level of prosperity emits decent work and economic growth (SDG8).

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries come in three forms.
Producers : Individuals who have (Solar Home Systems) SHS connection and sell excess levels of energy.
Consumers: Individuals who are off the national grid connection live in energy poverty and are bound to buy electricity through conventional and non-conventional means.
Prosumers: Individuals who are a mixture of both producers and consumers and can both buy and sell of energy depending on their needs and usage pattern.

The consumer group can be classified to.

Rural households : Individuals who depend on energy for daily survival
SME : Small and medium enterprises in energy deprived zones whose daily profit and economic condition can be bolstered through electrification.
Electric Rickshaws: SOLboxes can act as a pitstop for electric rickshaw pullers offering a faster and cheaper electrification solution than traditional means.
Agri businesses: The SOLboxes can help to run water pumps and machinery which can aid in agriculture.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Being the first mover in the industry, SOLshare has accumulated a significant level of technical expertise in the field and has been operating actively for over 3 years, the venture is backed up by renowned partnering organizations such as ADB and IDCOL. Apart from the technical expertise, mostly the local community is hired and are responsible for the field activities, thus giving us better leverage and control over the target market. The product development is data driven and aided through the help of machine learning and predictive analysis, these give us real time insights of what and when a customer needs and in what quantity helping us to be prepared in advance.

Currently, SOLshare has little to no direct competitors and we are confident that we can protect ourself from any new competitors who decide to take on the challenge single-handedly.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

Creating smart grids and interconnecting households and businesses through machine to machine SOLboxes, and creating a smart community where individuals may buy and sell energy from one another bridging the gap between excess solar energy and lacking of solar energy and making a small profit from the buying and selling of energy thus creating smart entrepreneurs.

Website url = https://www.me-solshare.com/

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered social enterprise.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

Sebastian Groh founder and CEO quotes " I was working in the pre-Lehman time on Europe’s biggest trading floor in Frankfurt in investment banking, and I would lie if I said I didn’t like it. But I wanted to explore more and deeper things , and after having been to a talk at my university on “How to do business with the Poor”, I decided to did an intern at MicroEnergy International and with gathering a decent level of experience, I started the company ME SOLshare Ltd in 2014.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Prosperity and Planet has been a key influential factor for SOLshare where we are trying to solve and eradicate energy poverty. Lack of infrastructure development in rural zones have always been a problem of the local government due to poor resource utilization in wrong areas which has been further exacerbated due to climate change. Currently there are around 4.2 million solar home systems all over the country which already solves half of the work for SOLshare, all we need is to just connect them from one to another to provide better usage integrity. These can also help empower rural community and create smart entrepreneurs where one individual can sell excess levels of energy to another and make a profit.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

Several partner organizations are working alongside SOLshare. Grameen Shakti is engaged in infrastructure development through the aid of grid installations. Rahimafrooz is collaborating to provide SOLcontrols which are later used to operate as a SHS charge controller allowing to manage payments through mobile money. BGEF shook hands to help on with the GIZ project "Dissemination of Solar Lantern in Bangladesh“ .
Implementation partner -UBOMUS ,
Financing parner -IDCOL

During the UNDESA product, Grameen Shakti partnered up with us for constructing 150 grids.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Top strengths:
First mover
Technical expertise
Direct Community Engagement
Data driven product development
Affiliations with renowned Partner Organizations like Grameen Shakti, IDCOL and ADB

Geographic Focus

Emerging markets and underdeveloped/developing countries which lack electrification, rural community

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

30 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No

5 comments

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Photo of Erin Burba
Team

Hi Tawhidul, this sounds very similar to a company based in Cambodia called Okra, they're doing similar things with smart microgrids. I like that you add the aspect of blockchain technology. I'd be happy to connect you with my contact at Okra if you'd be interested in a potential collaboration :)

Photo of Tawhidul
Team

Hello Erin, thank you so much for taking the time to read my publication and the recommendation, we are proactively searching for collaboration with ventures and individuals possessing a similar interest, please tell us more about any potential collaborators. :)

Photo of Erin Burba
Team

Excellent, please email me at burba.e@husky.neu.edu and I will be happy to connect you. Meanwhile, you can learn more about Okra at http://www.okrasolar.com/

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