Salma Islam -  Project Manager, SOLshare

SOLshare’s newsletter brings to you our organization’s accomplishments, upcoming projects and future aspirations in an exciting new issue.
Over the past year, SOLsharers have been working diligently to continue our swarm electrification of rural areas in Bangladesh. The hard work has paid off and now SOLshare has a total of 25 microgrids across Bangladesh and 2 pilot grids in Assam, India serving over 3,500 beneficiaries across two countries. Our microgrids have empowered our users to choose between being consumers, producers, and prosumers letting them have full control of how and when they choose power.
Last year SOLshare was chosen as the winner of the Free Electrons Accelerator Program: World’s Best Energy Startup 2018 and won USD 200,000 in prize money. SOLshare was also announced a member of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer’s Cohort in 2018. In 2019 SOLshare won 2nd runner up at the e-Generation Start-Up World Cup. SOLshare was also chosen as one of the Global Cleantech 100 for 2019. SOLshare is also a part of this year’s UBS Global Visionaries and the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
Upcoming Projects:
SOLshare has two new exciting projects that are technologically innovative and currently underway.
Over the next fifteen months SOLshare will be implementing 25 electric vehicle (rickshaw) charging pitstops within some of its microgrids around Bangladesh. The project was funded by GIZ upon seeing a test pilot in Panchaghar. The pitstops will be designed with solar panels and SOLboxes to understand the energy metrics required. Having over 1 million electric rickshaws in the country, site selection will be imperative as areas with the demand will only be chosen. The pitstops are being designed for absolute efficiency, to meet boosted charging in a short time.  The project also includes experimental research with a European partner to figure out charging algorithms for vehicle to grid and vice versa.
The second project SOLshare has begun working on is one with Microsoft in which SOLshare will pilot providing Wi-Fi access to the local community through the Wi-Fi tower in our microgrids. Initially, some free service will be provided to assess demand, but this will gradually become a billable service. SOLshare was led to this project through customer suggestions. This will open up a whole new world for remote rural communities. 
Future Endeavors and Social Impact:
By the end of this year, SOLshare will have installed more than 100 microgrids throughout Bangladesh and already piolted in India this year. Our grids have helped improve lives and livelihoods through increased economic returns, socioeconomic returns and creating alternative income-generating activities. The current Social Return on Investment (SROI) stands at USD 4.85 (Asia IIX).
As SOLshare continues its journey to provide electricity to the energy poor while the team continues to strive for better and more innovative ways to improve rural livelihoods and reduce energy poverty all through a sustainable business model.


SOLshare's first Export: Destination India

Our first consignment for Cygni Energy is shipped from Bangladesh to India, which represents our first export. In a way, we have reached a milestone today & can take immense pride in saying that our products, from scratch, have always been Made in Bangladesh. These are the baby steps that will eventually lead us to achieve: Disruption, Decentralization & Decarbonization. 

 How Taglines Can Tag You Forever
Taglines, like the nickname you’re given in highschool, can remain with you forever. Just how when you’re recalling a person and their faces pop in your mind before their names do, similarly, you know what is “finger lickin’ good.”

A good tagline should be a bite-sized treat for the ears, reminding you of the brand’s essence. It is one of the core ways to differentiate a brand, and the catchier it is the better. People, however, often try to come up with the most complicated, baseless, pompous-sounding taglines, only failing to realize taglines are supposed to be unapologetically simple. When Coke founded itself saying they are the “the real cola,” Pepsi fumbled for a way out, until they said that they are “the choice of the new generation.” Because if Coke was the original, it was obviously for the older folks.
But we are no Coca Cola, no Pepsi, no clothing company which can condition people into thinking anything that is smooth should by logic “feel like Raymond,” rather a relatively new company in a not-so-very-glamorized industry. We are a company, who after multiple trial-and-error phases, put an end to a pressing matter at hand in the energy sector: We found a way to utilize the excess power generated by solar home systems, and pioneer a medium for reliable and most importantly, affordable electricity for even those people who are at the lowest echelon of the rural societies. We are the first peer-to-peer solar energy trading platform, and power shortage seemed like a problem, not to us.

SOLshare in the News

SOLshare in the 2019 Global Cleantech 100 list!

SOLshare: as one of the Global Visionaries :

SOLshare in eGenerations: Startup Worldcup as 2nd Runner up!

Fun Interview with SOLsharers
Why SOLshare?

When I left BRAC I was looking for three things: impact, scale and people. And I wouldn’t settle for less.
I wanted to work in a space that was creating jobs, improving people’s income and stimulating micro-enterprises. I wanted to work in tech because I saw it as the medium to take solutions to scale.
But most importantly, I wanted to work with people who are empathetic, humble and ambitious. Empathy to always ask “why” before jumping into solving the problem. Humility so that they are open to new ideas and keep the personal out. And ambition so that they do not become complacent.
I spent 5 months talking to different startups and high growth companies here and abroad. They had it all: impact, scale and people. But that in itself became a problem. I realized these wouldn’t be challenging places for me. I wanted to be in a place that kept me on my toes, pushed me to learn something new everyday and drove me out of my comfort zone.
I joined SOLshare because it’s promising, with an incredible potential to have it all. It’s still learning, it’s still experimenting, it’s still evolving. No two days are alike. Every field visit builds and strengthens my knowledge of a completely new domain while taking me to some remote, far-flung village in Bangladesh. So here’s to a new adventure of figuring out how to have an impact at scale with some amazing people!

Recent Publications on SOLshare

Next Billion: Bridging the ‘Off-Grid/On-Grid’ Divide: How Grid Integration Can Build the Energy System of the Future
Saurenergy: Interview with Sebastian Groh, Managing Director and Founder, SOLshare
Medium:  Investing in SOLshare and rural communities

Social Impact by 2021
SOLshare moved into its smart new office: A reflection of the 5Ds!
Decentralized, Decarbonized, Digitalized, Democratized and Disruptive
Huge thanks to Free Electrons for making this dream office a reality!
What Keeps Us Going....
Women's Day at SOLshare
Quote of the Month

“Energy efficiency and renewables can meet world demand better and cheaper than any future based on coal or nuclear power.”

Team Bonding at BaseCamp

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