Articles by Nancy Wimmer
It took just a decade for more than 15 million villagers to gain access to the benefits of solar home systems in Bangladesh. How did this happen? Nancy Wimmer explains the process in her new book, "The Marketmakers — Solar for the Hinterland of Bangladesh." While Bangladesh's success would be difficult to replicate in other countries, Wimmer is convinced it is not solely determined by a country or product. Rather, she says it stems from a market-oriented approach carried out by rural entrepreneurs, as well as the leadership and resources to see it through.
A small group of people began experimenting how to bring solar electricity to rural Bangladesh and in 1996 started its first rural renewable energy service company – Grameen Shakti – which literally translates to rural energy. The company installed 20 solar systems by the end of 1996, 2,800 systems after a decade of growth, and on Nov. 30, 2012 – 16 years after its launch – installed a total of 1 million solar systems in village homes, schools, clinics and businesses.