Bangladesh Turns To Solar To Offset Costly Fossil Fuel Imports

Country Overview

The Asian country of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is bordered by India, Myanmar, and the Bay of Bengal.  The population of Bangladesh is approximately 173.30 million people.

In 2022, Bangladesh’s economy was ranked 34th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on agriculture and the export of t-shirts, men’s suits, sweaters, non-knit women’s suits, and knit women’s suits.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Bangladesh signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual levels.

In 2020, the Bangladesh government announced the National Solar Energy Action Plan, which established utility scale solar hubs across the country. The government’s goal is to develop 40,000 MW of solar capacity by 2041.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 99.0% of the people in Bangladesh had access to electricity. In 2022, utilities used natural gas (60.5%), oil (23.2%), coal (14.3%), and renewable energy (2.0%) to generate electricity in Bangladesh. Hydropower and solar are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Bangladesh.

Recent renewable energy projects in Bangladesh include:

  • 280 MW Solar Project – Chinese solar company, Longi is continuing work on a solar project in Rangpur in the northern region of the country. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 275 MW Solar Project – In January 2023, Indian company, Rays Power commissioned a solar project at a site approximately 150 miles north-northwest of the nation’s capital, Dhaka.
  • 134 MW Solar Project – In June 2022, Longi commissioned the Mongla solar project in the Bagerhat District in the southern region of the country.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – Bangladesh state-owned utility, Rural Power Company Limited is continuing work on a solar project in the Jamalpur District at a site approximately 100 miles north of Dhaka. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 90 MW Rooftop Solar Project – In September 2023, Bangladesh Jute Mills Corp announced the company will buy electricity from rooftop photovoltaic panels, which will be installed on thirteen jute mills across the country.
  • 73 MW Solar Project – In April 2021, Malaysian solar company, Ditrolic Solar commissioned a photovoltaic solar project in the Mymensingh District, which is located approximately 60 miles north of Dhaka.
  • 50 MW Solar Project – In January 2021, Singaporean solar company, SinEnergy commissioned a photovoltaic solar project in the northern region of the country.
  • 30 MW Solar Project – In September 2022, Bangladesh company, Intraco Solar Power commissioned a solar project in the northern region of the country.


In 1955, the Burmah Oil Company made the first significant natural gas discovery in Bangladesh. The development of Bangladesh’s natural gas resources have contributed to the rapid growth of the nation’s economy over the last twenty years.

Bangladesh imports fossil fuels (coal, refined petroleum, and natural gas) for transportation, and power generation. In 2019, Bangladesh began importing liquified natural gas (LNG) to supplement the nation’s declining natural gas production. In 2021, Bangladesh imported U.S. $5.48 Billion just for imported refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Over the past decade, Bangladesh has experienced consistent economic growth and prosperity. The nation has significant renewable energy resources, including solar, hydropower, biomass, and wind. Bangladesh is now turning to solar to offset costly fossil fuel imports.


Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.



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