Bangladesh’s Ambitious Solar Plan

National Economy

The population of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh is approximately 166.07 million people[1]. In 2019, 85.2% of the people in this south Asian country had access to electricity[2].

In 2019, Bangladesh’s economy was ranked 41st in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on agriculture and the export of clothing, footwear, textiles, seafood, and tea.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Bangladesh signed the Paris Climate Agreement[4], committing to an unconditional 5% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual levels.

In 2018, Bangladesh utilities[5] used natural gas (59.8%), refined petroleum (35.9%), coal (2.8%), and renewable energy (1.5%). Hydropower and solar are the primary sources of renewable energy in Bangladesh.

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.

Recent renewable energy projects in Bangladesh include:

  • 100 MW Solar Project – In May 2021, the Bangladesh government announced plans to build a photovoltaic solar project in the Jamalpur District, which is located approximately 100 miles north of the nation’s capital, Dhaka.
  • 1 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.

Conclusions

Over the past decade, Bangladesh has experienced consistent economic growth and prosperity. The country’s future economic growth will require a reduction in expensive, imported refined petroleum and coal.

Bangladesh has vast renewable energy potential, including solar, hydropower, and wind; which could provide clean, reliable power to the entire country. Unfortunately, previous governments have failed to implement ambitious renewable energy programs and policies.

Will the current government of Bangladesh begin to move the country’s fossil fueled economy to clean, low-cost renewable energy? Bangladesh’s economic and environmental future is depending on it.

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

[1] Bangladesh Population (2020) –  May 5, 2021 www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Bangladesh

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[5] International Conference on Power, Renewable Energy In Bangladesh, 13-15 December 2018

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