SOLbox is a bi-directional direct-current electricity meter that enables peer-to-peer electricity trading, aiming to end energy poverty. Based on the already existing over 5 million solar homes systems (SHS) in Bangladesh, SOLbox interconnects existing decentralised solar energy generation infrastructures. This approach allows the utilization of clean energy from solar resources to lower-income households. It enables smart grid management, remote monitoring, mobile money payment and data analytics.

SOLbox is a product from SOLshare, a social enterprise that facilities a micro-energy transition model by interconnecting the SHS, monetizing excess solar energy along the value chain in real time. It enables low-income communities to earn mobile money by facilitating a direct income from the sun. It makes energy access 30%-50% cheaper than a conventional standalone SHS can do. Through its modular microgrid approach, clean energy is now used to power appliances beyond lighting and phone charging, making clean energy a real alternative to fossil fuel-based energy supply systems. Headquartered in Dhaka, the enterprise follows a 5D's fuelling energy for the future principle: Decentralization, Decarbonization, Disruption, Democratization and Digitization.

More than 50 million people in Bangladesh live in densely populated rural areas without electricity. Another 20 million villagers are equipped with an SHS. They still remain unable to power their demands and under-utilize the solar systems, resulting in up to 30% lost generation capacity. This results in completely untapped resource averaging excess supply of electricity of 600,000 kWh per day.

Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. SOLshare creates resilient energy infrastructures by linking producers, consumers, and large companies in smart-grids enabling energy peer-to-peer transactions. It has installed 15 grids in rural Bangladesh, benefitting over 15,000 people. Its end-users are primarily households and shopkeepers who already have access to electricity. These beneficiaries can now enjoy a more flexible, reliable and cheaper service than before and earn direct income from their SHS by cashing-in what they have fed into the grid. SOLshare estimates to reduce carbon emissions by 4 million tonnes by 2021.

SOLshare’s is a for-profit private limited company with a technology and business model that facilitates a modular infrastructure. It is working towards shaping energy transition at a local level. It has a big team of around 50 members. It leverages the 5 million SHS installed across Bangladesh through B2B partnerships with local business entities (POs) who are already involved in the distribution, maintenance, and financing of renewable energy solutions for households and small businesses. SOLshare provides these POs with hardware and software as a service solution, as well as initial training for the management and maintenance of the grid infrastructure.

In a SOLshare microgrid, these POs act as the local grid operators, who provide and maintain the household interconnection infrastructure, while households and businesses who get connected to the grid can either be pure consumers or decide to become prosumers or even producers and actively contribute to the local infrastructure against a decent income. The plug-and-play nature of the technology allows the grid to grow dynamically from the ‘bottom-up’ as more users connect over time.

  • The SOLgrid is enabled by a combination of proprietary hardware and software to create a direct-current nano-grid which allows for sharing of excess energy among households.
  • The SOLcloud, SOLshare’s data collection and analysis platform complements the hardware products and is integrated with multiple local mobile money providers.
  • It assembles all the parts in their local production office and imports the components and the PCBs from China.

Key Facts

Organization: SOLshare
Contact: Dr. Sebastian Groh
Operating in: Bangladesh