Govt plans big in solar energy
Author / Source : STAFF REPORTER
DHAKA, DEC 29: Rural Bangladesh is to see an increase in solar electricity generation as part of the government’s ambitious plan to boost the provision of power from renewable sources, according to a top government official. “A target of generating 500 megawatts (MW) of green energy by 2015 has been set. The attempt aims at narrowing the gap between current supplies of grid electricity and the needs of the country’s 160 million people,” said Tapos Kumar Roy, additional secretary of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources.
Official data show that only 49 per cent of the population has access to electricity from the national grid. Fossil fuels account for almost all the current capacity of 5,500 MW, with renewable sources, mostly solar power, contributing just 55 MW.
The government says there are environmental and developmental imperatives behind its search for alternative energy sources. Burning fossil fuel emits greenhouse gases into the air, contributing to the warming of the globe. And fossil fuels are depleting very quickly which is a threat to future power generation, said the power ministry official.
Under the plan, 340 MW of new capacity will be generated from systems installed on residential, commercial and industrial buildings, as well irrigation pumps, mini-grid systems and solar parks.
Solar power systems that have been installed on the rooftops of local government buildings, railway stations, and rural health and educational institutions will provide the balance.
The government believes, Roy said, investments totalling $2.24 billion will be required to reach its solar power target.
It is seeking about $1.6 billion dollars in financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other development partners.