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Bangladeshi energy-tech company among 15 finalists of The Earthshot Prize 2021

  • Published at 10:10 pm September 17th, 2021
SOLshare technicians fitting solar panels. Courtesy

Five winners will be selected on October 17 in London

A Bangladeshi energy-tech company has emerged as one of the three finalists for The Earthshot Prize 2021 in the category – “Fix Our Climate”.

SOLshare, which has been in operation for past six years in Bangladesh is credited for developing SOLbazaar, the world’s first peer-to-peer energy exchange network.

Created by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, The Earthshot Prize has led an unprecedented global search for the most inspiring and innovative solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing the planet, said a press release last night.

SOLshare made it to 15 inaugural finalists (under five categories) from 14 countries. An expert advisory panel selected these 15 from 750 nominations received across every continent from diverse coalition of over 200 nominators.

Five winners will be selected by The Earthshot Prize Council from the 15 finalists and each of them will receive £1million in prize money at a ceremony on October 17 in London.

Bangladesh is a global distributed clean energy leader, with six million households powered by the sun. Despite this success, however, it is blighted by energy poverty. Millions of Bangladeshis still lack any electricity at all and suffer from outdated infrastructures.

The SOLbazaar, SOLshare’s marketplace for future-proof energy infrastructures, helps remote communities trade solar power, as well as enables e-rickshaw drivers better charging and profit opportunities, wants to change that.

SOLbazaar allows efficient distribution of electricity to rural communities by letting households buy and sell clean power. Homes with rooftop solar panels sell excess electricity back into a microgrid network, where others can buy it. It helps the environment, but also gives poor communities a new and plentiful source of income: the sun.

SOLshare’s 72 grids have already helped more than 7,500 people in remote communities. They also reduce emissions by 30% and make money for its prosumers in real-time. Energy trading has boosted some household incomes by 25%.

SOLshare hopes winning The Earthshot Prize would help it further expand its network to off-grid communities, shine a light on the model for global adoption, and expand the SOLbazaar into electric micro-mobility to sustainably power the country’s transportation backbone consisting of 1.75 million electric rickshaws. This would put SOLshare on track to help 2.5 million people by 2023 and operate 10,000 nano grids by 2030.   

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