Sunday, May 21, 2017

In Rural Bangladesh, Solar Power Dents Poverty

KAKHIN BIMILE, Bangladesh — Kismat Ali is a 33-year-old mason living in Kakhin Bimile, a village a few hours drive from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s crowded capital. He lives in a large brick home on a dirt road with his wife, son, parents and five brothers. This semirural area is off the main electrical grid, so residents rely on kerosene lamps and electricity from wires strung across the village to a noisy privately owned diesel generator. It runs about five hours each night. But Mr. Ali has a new source of electricity he can turn to: solar panels on his corrugated metal roof. In his home, he flicks a light switch and a bare bulb glows from the ceiling. Mr. Ali proudly switches on a fan that stirs the stultifying summer air. He says he wants to have a television one day, but is waiting for an LED TV that would consume less energy than models available now.

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