Micro Solar Project in Bangladesh
From 1999 to 2000 Canopus supported a feasibility study, pilot project and market test to unite solar energy, communication technologies and microcredit in Bangladesh. The aim was to provide people in poor rural off-grid neighborhoods with access to solar powered information and communication.
Project partners were Grameen Cybernet und Grameen Shakti, both subsidiaries of the microfinance institution Grameen Bank, which had already offered clients micro-credits for solar and small biogas systems.
With the help of Canopus, Grameen Shakti and Grameen Cybernet were able to offer locals e-learning and trainings, provide access to local market information and telemedicine, e-mail services and other income generating activities.
Microsolar contributed by enabling Grameen Shakti to test thin-film solar systems and to bring information technologies to remote communities in Bangladesh. In 2001 BP Solar agreed to transfer the successful pilot project to other communities. With the entry of BP Solar, Microsolar had served its purpose and the foundation could turn its attention to other projects.