Summoning earth and fire: The energy development implications of Grameen Shakti (GS) in Bangladesh

Sovacool, Benjamin and Drupady, Ira Martina (2011) Summoning earth and fire: The energy development implications of Grameen Shakti (GS) in Bangladesh. Energy, 36 (7). pp. 4445-4459. ISSN 0360-5442

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Since its establishment in 1996, the nonprofit company Grameen Shakti (GS) has installed almost half a million solar home systems (SHS), 132,000 cookstoves, and 13,300 biogas plants among 3.1 million beneficiaries. They plan to ramp up their expansion so that by 2015, more than 1.5 million SHS are in place along with 100,000 biogas units and 5 million improved cookstoves. This article describes GS’s current activities, the contours of its programs, and likely reasons for its success. It also explores the remaining challenges facing GS and distils common lessons for other energy development assistance projects and programs around the world. After detailing research methods consisting primarily of research interviews and site visits, the article briefly explores the history of GS and summarizes its three most prominent programs. The article then identifies six distinct benefits to their programs—expansion of energy access, less deforestation and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, price savings, direct employment and income generation, improved public health, and better technology—before discussing challenges related to staff retention and organizational growth, living standards, technical obstacles, affordability, tension with other energy programs, political constraints, and awareness and cultural values.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Depositing User: Benjamin Sovacool
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2015 08:35
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2016 15:07
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