The role of Solar Home System (SHS) in socio-economic development of rural Bangladesh
AuthorHarun, Md. Abdulla
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This research is an attempt to measure the impacts of Solar Home Systems (SHSs) and their role in socio-economic development of rural Bangladesh. After a brief review of previous research works on SHS’s importance, benefits and prospect, the study mainly focuses on the issues of SHS’s impacts on socio-economic development. In this context, the literature of SHS related works is reviewed and afterwards, the methods and findings of an impact assessment study of SHSs in rural Bangladesh are described in detail. The study is based on data from a survey of 90 households from three villages in Goffargoaw Upazilla of Mymensign district. From the research findings, some recommendations for SHS dissemination programmes in Bangladesh are made. The research concludes with the following major findings: • Introduction of micro-financing increases the SHS dissemination programme in remote rural areas of Bangladesh. • The utilisation of SHS in rural area of Bangladesh exhibits clear positive impacts. However, the economic impacts of the SHS are very limited as households lack knowledge and proper training of diversified uses of SHS for income generation activities. • As compared to economic impacts, social impacts are more pronounced. It is indeed true that improved household conditions for education, health, household work, access to information, communication, entertainment, and perception on safety bring about radical changes in the traditional social life and enhance quality life of rural people. On household level, children and women are benefited most as they spent most of their time within household premises using solar electric lighting and household appliances. At the same time, a large number of non-SHS households are being benefited indirectly from TV, radio, mobile phone, laptop and studying facilities from SHS households. • Positive environmental impacts are also observed as the substitution of traditional lighting fuels save carbon dioxide emissions. But close monitoring of the old batteries collection and recycling system is essential for ensuring ecologically sustainable environment in rural area of Bangladesh.