In Bangladesh about 17 million people benefit from 5.2 million solar home systems installed in the remote areas of the country. But the problem arises when the home systems produce more energy during the day than the residents could use and store in rechargeable batteries. In this process, around 30% of the produced energy may be wasted. Addressing the problem, SolShare came up with a revolutionary approach to let users monetize the excess electricity, by enabling the owners of the solar home systems to sell the electricity to their neighbors.
“The aim is to create efficient and dynamic local energy markets that empower households and encourage solar entrepreneurism,” says Sebastian Groh, Managing Director of Solshare, the startup making the technology now in use in Bangladesh.
With a power meter and solar charge controller installed in the households, SolShare redirects electricity to the households where its needed. It also keeps a track of the usage allowing the users to pay the bill using a commonly-used mobile payment app.
“The villagers see the results of their trading almost in real-time in the mobile money wallets and can buy their groceries with the money just earned through their solar systems,” says Groh.
Recently, SolShare raised Series A round of $1.66 million investment led by the Silicon Valley based firm Innogy New Ventures. The startup will use the fund to increase accessibility to clean energy for 19,000 households and increase the earning of 14,000 micro-entrepreneurs involved in the business. SolShare also aims to reduce the carbon emission by 2,200 metric tons within 2021.