The reasons for applying a subsidy scheme for Solar Lamps were:
- to increase the adoption rate and faster market penetration as well as
- to give incentive to potential importers and producers to focus on quality standards.
During the field test a number of 4000 lamps will be disseminated trough an already established network of shops for solar supplies. The end user price for the customers will be around 55 USD. A buy down grant of 10 USD will be provided.
Objectives of the field test are:
- test supplier, value chain and financing structure
- test market and marketing potentials
- test demand and find preferred models
- get a first estimate of socio economic impacts
The actual roll-out will begin with the second phase and will comprise of close to 100000 lamps. Based on the experience of the field test adjustments will be made. The final scheme will be described here mid 2011.
First Outcomes and Experiences
Small local companies as well as Chinese suppliers are eager to get information on the specifications required to take part in the project and to get continuously feedback on their lamp design and features. The high interest is a result of the success in SHS dissemination and the good acceptance of solar systems in Bangladesh as well as the prospect to sell high numbers of solar lanterns on the dense market. For the POs involved in former projects this is a good option to expand their businesses, new suppliers of smaller systems see the chance to enter the market on a big scale.
The final results of the baseline study conducted in Bangladesh are still pending (will be published beginning 2011). Anyways preliminary reports indicate, that the average household uses 2 hurricane lamps and one "kupi" (simple wick kerosene lamp). Expenses for kerosene for lighting are estimated around 190-200 BTk per month. Though it was not a specific target of the subsidy, the monthly rates in the case of hire purchase are now expected to be equal and most likely lower than that, which subsequently is a good sales argument too.