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[DHAKA] Bangladesh has doubled the number of homes with solar-powered electricity systems to 800,000 over the last year, with demand is still growing. 

"You can call it a green revolution, since our combined efforts are helping [to] light remote villages and reduce carbon emissions," said Abser Kamal, chief executive officer of Grameen Shakti, an organisation that promotes the use of renewable energy.

This year it hopes to install an additional 500,000 solar cell systems that convert sunlight to electricity. A typical US$300 home unit allows the user to power four light bulbs, a television set and a fan.

Bangladesh's power plants can generate about 4,200 megawatts of electricity, but the demand is more than 5,500 megawatts a day.

"The demand for home systems is rising enormously," said Ruhul Quddus, head of Rural Services Foundation, a Bangladeshi development charity. "Each month we are connecting 35,000 new households."

Solar power use is surging in urban areas in part because the government has stopped providing new connections as a result of continuing power shortages.

Recently, solar power systems were installed in the prime minister's office, the Central Bank building and the new offices of Grameenphone, a telecommunications giant.

Link to full article in Reuters AlertNet