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$1b per year can be saved by prioritising solar power: Study

solar energy for bangladesh

The present energy crisis is an opportunity for Bangladesh to build increasingly competitive renewable energy capacity, the National Bureau of Asian Research study suggests. A rapid scale-up of 2,000MW solar power capacity and replacement of all diesel-run irrigation systems by solar power could save over $1 billion per year for Bangladesh, which currently goes to LNG and diesel imports, finds a study conducted by the US-based institute, National Bureau of Asian Research.

This report was first published in The Business Standard on 14th March, 2023.

“The present energy crisis is an opportunity for Bangladesh to build increasingly competitive renewable energy capacity and thus reduce the dependence and imports of expensive and volatile fossil fuels, such as LNG,” Shafiqul Alam, the author of the study, noted.

The study additionally revealed that Bangladesh could build more than 12,000 MW renewable energy capacity using industrial rooftops and special economic zones land, without putting any pressure on the agricultural land.

Solar energy can reduce carbon emissions
Solar energy can reduce carbon emissions

Bangladesh’s grid capacity is now 23,482MW, while solar power contributes only 375MW, according to the Bangladesh Power Development Board. The country, however, has a target to generate 10% of its power from renewable sources, including solar, by 2025.

As of now, it has developed a capacity of producing nearly 966MW on-grid and off-grid power from different renewable sources, the agency data said.

Meanwhile, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid expressed his dissatisfaction over the net metering system on rooftops and said it is necessary to undertake projects considering the context of Bangladesh.
“The net metering system is not progressing as expected. Solar rooftop activities would have to strengthen further,” he said while addressing a workshop on the multipurpose use of land for renewable energy projects in Bangladesh at the Bidyut Bhaban recently.

The state minister suggested solar power generation be increased by using all unused land, water bodies and building roofs.

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