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Are micro-benefits negligible? The implications of the rapid expansion of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in rural Bangladesh for sustainable development


  • Komatsu, Satoru
  • Kaneko, Shinji
  • Ghosh, Partha Pratim


This paper examines the multiple benefits of the adoption of Solar Home Systems (SHS) and discusses the dissemination potential for sustainable rural livelihoods in developing countries. Based on a household survey conducted in rural Bangladesh, we first identify the impact of SHS on the reduction in energy costs and compare purchasing costs. We then examine household lifestyle changes following the adoption of SHS. Finally, we consider several price-reduction scenarios to examine the potential demand for SHS and to evaluate its future dissemination potential. The results of the analysis indicate that households with SHS successfully reduce their consumption of kerosene and dependency on rechargeable batteries, with the cost reductions accounting for some 20-30% of monthly expenditures on SHS. Moreover, most households with SHS can enjoy its benefits, including electric lighting, watching television, and the ease of mobile phone recharging at home. Further, the price reduction can make possible potential demand in more than 60% of households without SHS, while additional price reductions promote the purchase of even larger SHS packages. This study concludes that even though the scale of single SHS is small, the micro-benefits for each household and the dissemination potential are substantial.

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  • Komatsu, Satoru & Kaneko, Shinji & Ghosh, Partha Pratim, 2011. "Are micro-benefits negligible? The implications of the rapid expansion of Solar Home Systems (SHS) in rural Bangladesh for sustainable development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 4022-4031, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:7:p:4022-4031

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Davide Forcella & Marek Hudon, 2016. "Green Microfinance in Europe," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 445-459, May.
    2. Pandey, A.K. & Tyagi, V.V. & Selvaraj, Jeyraj A/L & Rahim, N.A. & Tyagi, S.K., 2016. "Recent advances in solar photovoltaic systems for emerging trends and advanced applications," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 859-884.
    3. Pode, Ramchandra, 2013. "Financing LED solar home systems in developing countries," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 596-629.
    4. Komatsu, Satoru & Kaneko, Shinji & Ghosh, Partha Pratim & Morinaga, Akane, 2013. "Determinants of user satisfaction with solar home systems in rural Bangladesh," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 52-58.
    5. Gottesfeld, Perry & Cherry, Christopher R., 2011. "Lead emissions from solar photovoltaic energy systems in China and India," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 4939-4946, September.
    6. Ahmed, Shamsuddin & Islam, Md Tasbirul & Karim, Mohd Aminul & Karim, Nissar Mohammad, 2014. "Exploitation of renewable energy for sustainable development and overcoming power crisis in Bangladesh," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 223-235.
    7. Marion Allet & Marek Hudon, 2015. "Green Microfinance: Characteristics of Microfinance Institutions Involved in Environmental Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 395-414, February.
    8. Elizabeth Baldwin & Jennifer N. Brass & Sanya Carley & Lauren M. MacLean, 2015. "Electrification and rural development: issues of scale in distributed generation," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 196-211, March.
    9. Mishra, Pulak & Behera, Bhagirath, 2016. "Socio-economic and environmental implications of solar electrification: Experience of rural Odisha," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 953-964.
    10. Li, Xuesong & Li, Hao & Wang, Xingwu, 2013. "Farmers' willingness to convert traditional houses to solar houses in rural areas: A survey of 465 households in Chongqing, China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 882-886.
    11. Mandelli, Stefano & Barbieri, Jacopo & Mereu, Riccardo & Colombo, Emanuela, 2016. "Off-grid systems for rural electrification in developing countries: Definitions, classification and a comprehensive literature review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 1621-1646.


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