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Renewable Energy in Bangladesh


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16 January, 2022, 03:25 pm

Last modified: 16 January, 2022, 03:28 pm

Govt exploring rooftop, floating solar power for scarcity of lands: Nasrul 

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that the government is exploring options like rooftop and floating solar power plants as alternatives to land-based ones due to scarcity of lands.   

He said it is not possible to set up land-based large-scale solar plants as lands are being used for agriculture and other necessary purposes.

The state minister made the remarks while presiding over the virtually held "Member Interventions" session of the 12th assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Saturday evening.

Stressing the need for international cooperation to address the global energy challenges in a credible manner, he said regional and sub-regional cooperation is also essential in this regard.

He urged all to work together to keep the modern and innovative technologies open for all at an affordable cost.

Nasrul Hamid mentioned that Bangladesh has been making all its efforts with limited resources to promote renewable energy.

"Over 20 million people of the country have been brought under the electricity facilities through setting up over six million solar home systems," he added.

Moreover, people of the remote areas are being given electricity through installing 26 solar mini-grids while 2,000 diesel-run irrigation pumps were converted into solar-run pumps to reduce the use of liquid fuels.

Nasrul said currently the country is generating 650MW electricity from solar energy while eight grid-tied solar parks, having 231MW capacity, were set up across the country.    

He said the government has introduced the net metering system to encourage rooftop solar while initiatives have been taken to use other sources of renewable energy like wind, waste to generate electricity.

Projects were undertaken to generate 245MW of electricity from wind while Dhaka North City Corporation signed a contract to set up a 42.5MW waste to energy plant.

The conference was attended by representatives from Zimbabwe, Colombia, India, US,  el Salvador, Belgium, Norway, Uruguay, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Greece, Spain, China, Japan, Switzerland, Croatia, Turkmenistan, Serbia, Germany, France, Italy, Sun Marino, and Saudi Arabia.


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নবায়নযোগ্য, সবুজ জ্বালানির মাধ্যমে ২০৫০ সালের মধ্যে কার্বন নিঃসরণ নিট-জিরোতে নামানোর লক্ষ্যস্থির করেছে সরকার।

দেশে বর্তমানে মোট কার্বন নিঃসরণের ৪৭ শতাংশই করে বিদ্যুৎ খাত।

বর্তমানে দেশের মোট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন ক্ষমতা প্রায় ২৫ হাজার মেগাওয়াট। এই বিদ্যুতের ৯৩ শতাংশই উৎপাদিত হয় জীবাশ্ম জ্বালানি দিয়ে।



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Bangladesh to get its first wind power plant in Cox’s Bazar

The 60MW plant will cost Tk900 crore


Abdul Aziz, Cox’s Bazar

March 31, 2022 2:20 PM

The country's first wind power project is being implemented in Khurushkul of Cox’s Bazar Sadar upazila.

State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid laid the foundation stone of the project on Thursday.

The wind power plant would generate 60MW of electricity upon project completion.

Besides, there will be another wind park in Inani capable of generating 50MW of electricity, said State Minister Nasrul.


State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid is seen at the inauguration ceremony of a wind park project in Cox’s Bazar on Thursday, March 31, 2022 Dhaka Tribune

The director of the project in Khurushkul, Mukit Alam Khan, said the government is constructing the plant at a cost of Tk900 crore.

The project will reach completion by December, he said, adding that the electricity generated by this plant will be connected to the national grid after meeting local demand.

It is being implemented by US-DK Green Energy (BD) Ltd.

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Eyamin Sajid

22 April, 2022, 01:00 pm

Last modified: 22 April, 2022, 02:56 pm

Rooftop solar now a popular choice for industries to cut power bills

Rooftop solar system offers a ray of light in achieving target despite some shortcomings


Heritage Polymer and Lami Tube Ltd, a factory dealing in PVC pipes, fittings and packaging in Narayanganj's Sonargaon, had been paying a big amount of money to Narayanganj Palli Bidyut Samity-1 every month for electricity consumption until it got a solar park on its rooftop last month.

The factory's electricity bill has now dropped by around 34% with the 3.161 megawatt-peak (MWp) installed capacity of solar power.

In the daytime, the solar system produces electricity from sunlight and feeds the power distribution grid if generation is higher than consumption.

On 1 April this year, Akij Group, one of the leading business conglomerates in the country, also set up a 470kW rooftop solar plant at Janata Jute Mills located in Faridpur's Boalmari.

Rooftop solar thus comes as a popular choice for industries to minimise electricity cost.

As many as 1,703 firms and factories have installed rooftop solar systems under net metering model since 2018 to minimise energy costs and reduce carbon emission.

The government aspires to generate 40% of its total electricity from renewable sources by 2041 even though it now produces only 3% from renewables, such as solar, wind and hydro power.

The rooftop solar system offers a ray of light in achieving the target despite some shortcomings, among which are a lack of adequate land and a low speed wind, said Mahmood Malik, immediate past first executive director and chief executive officer at Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL). 

The authorities are now trying to make use of the on-grid rooftop solar system to increase the contribution of renewable energy to the total energy mix. 

Power distribution companies are encouraging industrial consumers to set up such projects on unused rooftops. 

Bikash Dewan, managing director at Dhaka Power Distribution Company, said the company is implementing rooftop solar projects based on a yearly target. 

Besides, some local renewable energy promoting agencies, such as IDCOL, Rahimafrooz Bangladesh Ltd and Alpine Technologies, have also come forward to expedite the rooftop solar programme under a cheaper but advanced model. 

Alpine Technologies also provides a flat rate for a contract period of more than 20 years. 

Being a solar energy solution providing company, Alpine Technologies provides both technical and financial feasibility studies, power output projections, electrical designs, combinations with existing substations, control panels, material procurement, quality control, system designs and detailed analyses, and operation and maintenance.

Md Tariqul Islam, CEO of Alpine Technologies, said his firm's model will reduce 30-40% of electricity bills of industrial consumers as the model uses unused or unutilised roof spaces of the industries. 

"This is one of the finest ideas to reduce the power load of the industry along with rolling back carbon emission and raising the green standard of the industry," he said. 

He also said returns from investment on installation of rooftop solar systems are very high, and it does not take more than 5 years to get a payback, said Md Tariqul Islam. 

How an on-grid rooftop solar system works 

If the rooftop owner connects the facility with the national grid through the net metering system, a billing mechanism that credits solar energy facility owners for adding electricity to the grid, the monthly electricity consumption will decrease and so will the bills. 

During daylight hours, electricity generated from a net-metered rooftop PV system will go to the national grid if the generation exceeds the consumer's demand. 

For feeding the national grid, electricity meters will run backwards to provide a credit to users and customers are only billed for their "net" energy use at the end of the month.

Solution offered by Alpine Technologies

To expedite rooftop solar power, Alpine Technologies offers its services in two methods – Capital Expenditure (CapEx) and Operational Expenditure (OpEx). 

In the CapEx model, capital investment is done by end-users. It is the most convenient and simplified model where design and implementation are done by Alpine and its international EPC partner, with the end-users bearing the expenditure of the project.

On the other hand, under the OpEx model, end-users are liable to bear operational expenses only. To implement any project under this model, Alpine and its international EPC partner will design, implement and maintain the project whereas end-users will just pay a bill at a fixed rate that is lower than the Rural Electrification Board's rate. 

This rate will be set and will be fixed by signing a power purchase agreement between both parties for 20 years. 

What holds back expansion of rooftop solar power

Infrastructure Development Company Limited, a government-owned non-bank financial institution specialising in financing renewables, said around 5,000 megawatts of electricity can be generated by installing solar panels on the rooftops of readymade garments, textiles and other industries in the country.

However, at present, the country can generate only 77 MWp of electricity from 1,691 both on-grid and off-grid rooftops solar facilities. 

Talking about this limited amount of rooftop solar electricity, Md Tariqul Islam said gas fired-captive power is a major problem in the expansion of on-grid rooftop solar power in industries. 

Industry owners are reluctant to adopt a no-grid rooftop solar project as gas-fired captive power is the cheapest way of electricity production, he said.

"If the government wants to promote renewable energy, it should discourage gas-based captive-power," he added. 

Apart from this, taxation and policy hindrances are significant reasons behind the slow pace in the expansion of rooftop solar. 

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Eyamin Sajid

25 May, 2022, 07:00 pm

Last modified: 25 May, 2022, 07:06 pm

Bangladesh among top 20 prospective solar farm capacity nations

As of now, Bangladesh could develop capacity to generate 554.17MW electricity from solar power and 2.9MW from wind power


Bangladesh is one of the top 20 countries with prospective solar farm capacity, says data published recently by the Global Energy Monitor (GEM).

However, it said the country is nowhere on the list of the current top 20 wind power capacity nations.

GEM, the San Francisco-based fossil fuel and renewable energy projects monitor, launched this new tracker on 24 May, showing country-by-country build-out of utility-scale solar and wind energy projects.

GEM released two new tools for tracking the global transition to renewable energy: a wind power tracker covering wind farm phases of 10 megawatts (MW) or more, and a solar power tracker covering utility-scale solar PV farm phases of 20MW or more, while it is 10MW or more in Arabic-speaking countries.

Combining government, corporate, and other public data, the two trackers provide project-level data to show the speed and extent to which countries are building out wind and solar power.

As per the tracker, Bangladesh has development capacity of around 2,665 prospective solar farms and hardly 355 prospective wind farms. The country has 34 solar farm phase counts with only seven wind farm phase counts.

A solar project phase is generally defined as a group of one or more solar units that are installed under one permit, and one power purchase agreement, and typically come online at the same time.

However, the report did not disclose the prospect of electricity generation capacity from solar and wind energy. 

As of now, Bangladesh could develop capacity to generate 554.17MW electricity from solar power and 2.9MW from wind power, while the country's total power generation capacity is above 22GW – excluding captive power.

The recently released Global Solar Power Tracker catalogues every solar farm phase at these capacity thresholds of any status, including operating, announced, under development, under construction, shelved, cancelled, mothballed, or retired. 

The Global Wind Power Tracker (GWPT) catalogues 13,263 operating utility-scale wind farm phases generating 681.4GW in 144 countries, and additional wind farm phases that would potentially generate 882GW.

Countries with the most operating utility-scale wind projects are China at 261.2GW, the United States at 127.3GW, Germany at 39.6GW, Spain at 26.8GW, and India at 23.7GW.

The Global Solar Power Tracker (GSPT) catalogues 5,190 operating utility-scale solar farm phases generating 289.7GW in 148 countries, and an additional 3,551 prospective projects that would generate 651.6GW. Utility-scale solar projects account for roughly 65% of total global solar capacity with the remaining 35% being residential and commercial installations.

Countries with the most operating utility-scale solar projects are China at 130.3GW, the United States at 43.4GW, India at 29.0GW, Vietnam at 11.3GW, and Mexico at 10.5GW.

"Capturing the full extent of utility solar and wind energy build-out around the world is critical for measuring progress towards the energy transition," said Ingrid Behrsin, project manager for GEM's Global Wind Power Tracker.

"With open-access project-level data like this, we are now in a much stronger position to track how countries are stacking up against their own stated goals in renewables," Ingrid Behrsin added.  

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Bangladesh seeks Swedish support to fight climate challenges

Published:  June 02, 2022 18:32:51 | Updated:  June 02, 2022 18:58:04

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, now in Stockholm on a three-day visit, has said that the plights of displaced coastal people due to sea-level rise may turn into a security issue if the current trend continues.

Momen and his Swedish counterpart Ann Linde had a bilateral meeting on Wednesday on the sidelines of the Stockholm+50 international meeting and sought Swedish assistance to enhance Bangladesh’s capacity to adapt to the adverse effects of the climate crisis.

Bangladesh and Sweden have agreed to strengthen and expand cooperation to combat climate change challenges through joint efforts, reports UNB.

He invited Sweden to build partnership with Bangladesh on further cooperation in climate adaptation, renewable energy, innovation, technology transfer and green growth.

The Swedish foreign minister applauded Bangladesh’s leadership role in global climate change discourses, especially as Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Chair under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

Momen said they have just passed on the presidency of CVF, an alliance of 55 climate vulnerable nations- to Ghana. “However, we will continue to promote the interests of the vulnerable nations as part of the TROIKA of CVF.”

He also requested Sweden to enhance and diversify its climate cooperation with Bangladesh through GCF, Adaptation Fund (AF), and Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF).

Momen also stressed on the need of additional financing mechanism for loss and damage.

The two ministers underlined the importance of global cooperation for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and agreed to work together to that end.

While emphasizing on the importance of trade and investment for a strengthened bilateral relation, Momen urged Sweden to further diversify its exports beyond the traditional items and invest in the 100 Economic Zones that the government of Bangladesh has established.

He sought Sweden’s proactive role in both bilateral and multilateral contexts in promoting the safe, dignified and voluntary return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homes in Myanmar at the earliest.

Stockholm+50 international environmental meeting being held from June 1-3 under the theme “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.”

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Plans for 200 MW of solar in Bangladesh

An initial 30 MW slice of generation capacity, to include agrivoltaics and aquavoltaics, is set to be generating by 2024 according to the Hong Kong-Bangladeshi JV which plans to develop the site.


A Hong Kong-Bangladeshi joint venture is preparing to seek approval for the first, 30 MW slice of a planned 200 MW agrivoltaic and aquavoltaic site in Cox's Bazar.

The PDL-Greene Solar Power Ltd joint venture set up by Hong Kong business Project Development Ltd and Bangladeshi thin-film solar manufacturer Greene Consortium Ltd is preparing to seek approval for 30 MW of solar generation capacity in the county, or upazila, of Teknaf.

“We will soon submit an application to the government seeking permission to set up the power plant,” PDL-Greene Solar MD Sheikh Abu Mahadi told pv magazine.

The cost

The initial project will require a $36.2 million investment and the facility will produce crops and fish, said Mahadi.

The initial development at the site will feature more than 69,000 unbranded bifacial solar modules across 114 acres.

A further 650 acres is available for the planned 170 MW expansion of the solar farm.

“Our funds are 100% secured as our partners have given confirmation,” added Mahadi, who said the developers want the site operational by 2024.

Teknaf is the site of Bangladesh's first utility scale solar site, a 20 MW facility which was switched on in 2018. The area has the highest solar radiance in the country: 1.55 MWh per kilowatt-peak of solar generation capacity per year.

Bangladesh has 788 MW of renewables generation capacity, of which 554.77 MW is solar.

Junior power minister Nasrul Hamid recently said he expects 1.4 GW of new solar capacity to come online by 2025 in Bangladesh.

Green ambition

The nation plans to generate 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2040.

Bangladesh’s first agrivoltaic plant, a 3.77 MW array developed by Solarland China and local company Mostafa Motors, received government approval in December last year.

The developer of that project, Soudia Agro Solar PV Power Plant Ltd, plans to complete the site by October.

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EU to help Bangladesh in attaining renewable energy goals

Says visiting team

 FE REPORT | Published:  June 16, 2022 10:21:40 | Updated:  June 18, 2022 10:07:26

The EU Member States have common interest to support Bangladesh in achieving their national goals and fulfilling international commitments in the field of renewable energy through the Team Europe Initiative.

"The Initiative will allow us to better coordinate and consolidate our engagement in the Green Energy Sector and strengthen our relationship with the Bangladesh government and the private sector," said Johannes Schneider, head of the Development Cooperation, Germany, during a field visit on renewable energy on Tuesday, according to a press statement.

Team Europe Initiative on Green Energy Transition (TEI GET) organised the field visit to three renewable energy projects.

The visit was attended by Germany and the European Union, as TEI GET co-chairs, along with high-level representatives of Denmark, Sweden, AFD, GIZ, KFW and Switzerland.

Md Mostafa Kamal, additional secretary of the Renewable Energy and Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MoPEMR), and Mr Md Golam Mostofa, additional secretary, Member Admin, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), also took part in it.

The visit, organised in association with IDCOL, started with a guided tour of the operational rooftop solar with Net Metering system at Snowtex Outerwear Ltd at Dhamrai, Savar, following a discussion meeting with TEI GET, IDCOL, Snowtex Management and government counterparts.

Later, the group visited an IDCOL project, co-financed by KFW, of Solar Irrigation Pumps, and a domestic biogas plant in Dhamrai.

Maurizio Cian, head of cooperation, EU delegation, highlighted the transformational approach of Team Europe, saying: "Team Europe's common values and expertise in renewable energy are key drivers of this initiative."

"Team Europe provides the framework to deliver European support to the government of Bangladesh, with the ambition of a transformational impact in accelerating a green and just energy transition," he added.

Mostafa Kamal, additional secretary of the Renewable Energy and Power Division, said, "Bangladesh is committed to increasing renewable energy contribution in the national power generation mix, to promote appropriate, efficient and environment-friendly technology for the development of renewable energy."

"We are looking forward to implementing our strategies in collaboration with Team Europe," he added.

TEI GET, launched in Dhaka in June 2021, aims at supporting Bangladesh to build a power system that leads to maximum coverage of the country's energy demand through renewable energy while reducing GHG emission, energy consumption and demand through energy efficiency.

TEI GET, co-chaired by Germany and the EU, includes EU Member States Denmark, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and like-minded countries like Norway and Switzerland.

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Eyamin Sajid

21 June, 2022, 11:40 am

Last modified: 21 June, 2022, 02:40 pm

Summit plans 50MW floating solar plant on Barapukuria submerged lands


Summit Corporation Limited, one of the largest business conglomerates in the country, is planning to build a 40MW-50MW floating solar plant on the lands of the Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Limited, now underwater.

In an expression of interest sent to the Power Division, Petrobangla, and Barapukuria Coal Mine Company, on 26 May, Summit proposed four models for implementing the project – through a joint venture with Barapukuria Coal Mine, under a land lease agreement, as a lead member with revenue sharing of the project, or any other arrangement suggested by the power, energy and mineral resources ministry.

It also offered to deliver the project in Dinajpur, around 350km northwest of Dhaka, in the shortest possible time, using the world's most efficient technologies.


Engineer Md Kamruzzaman Khan, managing director at BCMCL, told The Business Standard that, alongside Summit's proposal, they also received four more proposals from Chinese firms.

"These all are very initial proposals and we are interested in taking up a project in the lakes. However, the Energy Division and Power Development Board will decide on the right model or structure of the project," he added.

Sources at BCMCL said there are around 300 acres of land at the Barapukuria that have turned into a big lake after coal extraction in the underground method of mining.

For the last few years, the submerged lands have remained as wetlands which used to be cultivated before being acquired by BCMCL for mining. 

Sustainable and Renewable Development Authority (Sreda), a state-owned agency responsible for promoting renewable energy, in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank, conducted a feasibility study last year to determine scope for a floating solar plant on the submerged lands.

The study found that a 50MW floating solar is feasible there, said Sreda officials.

Before submitting their proposal to the ministry, Summit Corporation Limited on its own initiative also visited the submerged BCMCL lands in order to see and understand the site conditions.

Based on the available data, the leading private power generation and energy logistics company proposed implementing the project, either as a lead member, or in participation with the Barapukuria Coal Mine Company. 

In the proposal, highlighting its financial strength, Summit said it maintains a AAA credit rating and has total equity of $800 million and debt financing of over $1.4 billion.

At present, Summit owns and operates a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) terminal capable of degasifying 500mmcfd and storing 138,000 cubic metres of LNG at Maheshkhali.

The conglomerate also has a 125,000 ton oil storage terminal and a fleet of 30 vessels for furnace oil logistics.

The company alone has a total power generation capacity of 1,941MW, while the combined production capacity of all private producers is 11,108MW.

As of now, Bangladesh has a capacity to generate 788MW of renewable energy, while the country's total power generation capacity is above 22GW (excluding captive power). 

Of total renewable capacity, solar energy accounts for 554.17MW, while a single hydro facility is in second position with 230MW of generation capacity.


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টিবিএস রিপোর্ট

09 August, 2022, 12:15 pm

Last modified: 09 August, 2022, 12:26 pm

প্যাসিফিক জিন্সের কারখানায় চালু হলো ৩.৫ মেগাওয়াটের সোলার পাওয়ার প্লান্ট 

এই প্ল্যান্ট থেকে প্রতিদিন যে পরিমাণ বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন হবে তা কারখানার মোট বিদ্যুৎ চাহিদার ১০ শতাংশ; এর মাধ্যমে প্রতি মাসে প্রায় ১০ লাখ টাকার বিদ্যুৎ সাশ্রয় হবে।



ছবি-মোহাম্মদ মিনহাজ উদ্দিন/টিবিএস

চট্টগ্রাম ইপিজেডে দৈনিক ৩.৫ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন সক্ষমতার সোলার পাওয়ার প্লান্ট চালু করেছে প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপ। সোমবার (৮ আগস্ট) বিকেলে আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে এই সোলার প্লান্টের উদ্বোধন করেন বাংলাদেশ রপ্তানি প্রক্রিয়াকরণ অঞ্চল কর্তৃপক্ষের (বেপজা) নির্বাহী চেয়ারম্যান মেজর জেনারেল আবুল কালাম মোহাম্মদ জিয়াউর রহমান। 

প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপের 'গ্রিন এনার্জি ইনিশিয়েটিভের' অংশ হিসেবে ইউনিভার্সাল জিন্স লিমিটেড কারখানায় নির্মিত এই সোলার প্লান্টে বিনিয়োগের পরিমাণ ৫ লাখ ইউএস ডলার। ৪৯ হাজার ৯৪ স্কয়ার ফিট আয়তনের সোলার প্লান্টে ওয়াকওয়ে রয়েছে ১২ হাজার ৪৫০ স্কয়ার ফিট। এই প্লান্টটি বছরে ৭০০ টন কার্বন ডাই অক্সাইড নির্গমন হ্রাস করবে।


উদ্বোধনী অনুষ্ঠানে প্যাসিফিক জিন্স কর্তৃপক্ষ জানায়, এই প্ল্যান্ট থেকে প্রতিদিন সাড়ে ৩.৫ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন হবে যা কারখানার মোট বিদ্যুৎ চাহিদার ১০ শতাংশ। পাওয়ার প্লান্টটির বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদনের মাধ্যমে প্রতি মাসে প্রায় ১০ লাখ টাকার বিদ্যুৎ সাশ্রয় হবে। 

প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপ পর্যায়ক্রমে তাদের ১০টি প্রতিষ্ঠানে রুফটপ সোলার পাওয়ার প্লান্ট স্থাপন করবে। এর মধ্যে গত ১ এপ্রিল ইউনিভার্সাল জিন্স লিমিটেডে সোলার পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট চালু  হয়। যেটি ৮ আগস্ট আনুষ্ঠানিকভাবে উদ্বোধন করা হয়। এই বিদ্যুৎ প্ল্যান্ট থেকে এই পর্যন্ত ১৮৫ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন হয়েছে।

এছাড়া আগামী সেপ্টেম্বরে প্যাসিফিক জিন্স লিমিটেড কারখানায় সোলার পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট চালু হতে যাচ্ছে। ৮০ হাজার স্কয়ার ফিট আয়তন জুড়ে স্থাপন করা এই প্লান্টে দৈনিক ৫.৫ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন হবে। সেটি ওই কারখানার ১৫ শতাংশ বিদ্যুৎ চাহিদা পূরণ করবে।

প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপ পর্যায়ক্রমে ২০২৩ সালে জিন্স ২০০০ লিমিটেড এবং এনএইচটি ফ্যাশনস লিমিটেডে, ২০২৪ সালে প্যাসিফিক নিটেক্স লিমিটেড এবং প্যাসিফিক ওয়ার্কওয়্যারস লিমিটেডে আর ২০২৫ সালে প্যাসিফিক ক্যাসুয়ালস লিমিটেড (ইউনিট ১, ২), পাসিফিক এটায়ার্স লিমিটেড, প্যাসিফিক জিন্স লিমিটেড (ইউনিট ২) এবং ইউনিভার্সাল জিন্স লিমিটেডে (ইউনিট ৪) সোলার পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট স্থাপনের পরিকল্পনা করেছে।

১০টি কারখানায় ৪ লাখ ৪১ হাজার ৬৫০ স্কয়ার ফুট জায়গাজুড়ে সোলার পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট চালু হলে ৩২.৭০ মেগাওয়াট বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন হবে, যা প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপের মোট বিদ্যুৎ চাহিদার ২০ শতাংশ পূরণ করতে সক্ষম হবে। বছরে কার্বন ডাই অক্সাইড নির্গমন হ্রাস করবে ৬ হাজার ৪৫৮ মেট্রিক টন।


উদ্বোধনী অনুষ্ঠানে বেপজার নির্বাহী চেয়ারম্যান মেজর জেনারেল আবুল কালাম মোহাম্মদ জিয়াউর রহমান বলেন, 'বেপজা অর্থনৈতিক অঞ্চল এবং ইপিজেডের কারখানাগুলোতে ৫ থেকে ১০ শতাংশ সোলার প্লান্ট চালুর বিষয়টিকে প্রাধান্য দিচ্ছে। প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপ সোলার প্লান্টের মাধ্যমে তাদের মোট বিদ্যুৎ চাহিদার ২০ ভাগ পূরণ করতে যে উদ্যোগ নিয়েছে তা অত্যন্ত ইতিবাচক। অন্যান্য বিনিয়োগকারীদের আহবান জানাবো যাতে তাদের কারখানায় এই ধরনের প্লান্ট চালু করে।'

পাওয়ার প্ল্যান্ট উদ্বোধনী অনুষ্ঠানে অন্যান্যদের মধ্যে উপস্থিত ছিলেন চট্টগ্রাম ইপিজেডের নির্বাহী পরিচালক মশিউদ্দিন বিন মেজবাহ, প্যাসিফিক জিন্স গ্রুপের ব্যবস্থাপনা পরিচালক সৈয়দ মোহাম্মদ তানভির প্রমুখ।  

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Honourable State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Nasrul Hamid has mentioned that, 40% of electricitywill come from clean sources by . The strategy was adopted in the country's Power System Master Plan (PSMP), he said while speaking on “Green Transition”.



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Land shortage slows growth of solar power in Bangladesh

Published:  August 24, 2022 19:48:24 | Updated:  August 25, 2022 08:32:53

Topu Roy's family did not have electricity until around 2005 when his parents set up a solar power system at their home in Dinajpur, in northern Bangladesh, to run lights and fans.

In the past two decades, some 6 million solar home systems have been installed across the country, bringing electricity to remote off-grid communities.

"It is a remarkable success story," said Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury, director of the Centre for Energy Research at Bangladesh's United International University.

For the fast-developing South Asian nation, solar power has brought benefits to citizens while creating jobs. But the sector's growth has been constrained by bottlenecks such as a lack of land on which large-scale plants are built, reports Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Grid power finally reached Roy's village in 2020 under a government programme to electrify the whole country by 2021, enabling residents to use a range of electric appliances for the first time.

"But with the recent power crisis in Bangladesh, we are back to square one, resorting to the solar home system as grid power is mostly off," said the 25-year-old student.

Millions of Bangladeshis are doing the same to cope with severe outages, caused by a recent power crisis amid extreme heat and high fuel prices, with rural areas bearing the brunt.

Bakirul Islam, 21, a student from Mymensingh, north of Dhaka, said he is now getting only two to three hours of grid power per day and is also relying on a solar home system.

Hikes in fuel prices globally have destabilised energy policy in Bangladesh, which imports about a quarter of its natural gas supply, sparking calls for a more diversified energy mix including a greater focus on renewables, especially solar.

The country has little more than 900 megawatts (MW) of renewables capacity, out of total power capacity of 25,700 MW, falling far short of a target to achieve 10% of generation from clean energy sources by 2020.

Last year the power ministry announced a more ambitious goal to source 40% of the nation's electricity from renewables by 2041, with solar viewed as having the highest potential.


Solar energy development has lagged partly because it was expensive a decade ago, at more than $0.16 per kilowatt-hour, said Ijaz Hossain, a professor at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

But the price has since plunged, making solar cheaper than using imported fuels like coal, heavy fuel oil or diesel, said Chowdhury of the Centre for Energy Research.

The recent rise in fossil fuel prices means industry can now save a lot of money by adopting solar power, said Ziaur Rahman Khan, another BUET professor.

With rooftop solar, 1 kilowatt hour of electricity costs about 4 taka ($0.04) for a commercial or industrial user, compared with 8-11 taka per unit for grid power, said Md. Rashedul Alam, assistant director at the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, a Bangladesh government agency.

Estimates of Bangladesh's solar energy potential support a larger-scale push into power from the sun, experts say.

A National Solar Energy Roadmap, drafted in 2020 with the United Nations Development Programme, calculated that 6,000 MW could be generated from solar by 2041 in a business-as-usual scenario - and with aggressive policies, as much as 30,000 MW.

The report offers key policy pointers, such as the "very real opportunities" of rooftop solar installations, said Farseem Mannan Mohammedy, director of BUET's Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development.

Recent solar power expansion has focused on both rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and large-scale ground-based plants.

Rooftop solar is appealing as it does not require land acquisitions, said Munawar Moin, group director at Rahimafrooz Ltd, a pioneering solar-panel manufacturer in Bangladesh.

An earlier study estimated that 5,000 MW could be generated from solar plants on industrial rooftops.

Chowdhury noted there are now more than 30 large-scale rooftop solar PV plants, mostly mounted on factories.

Besides garment and textile manufacturing, other sectors like steel and electronics are also venturing into rooftop solar.

Rooftop solar PV plants are a great source of job creation, said Mohammedy, noting that Bangladesh has the fifth highest number of jobs in solar PV, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

According to a 2020 IRENA report, there were 137,000 jobs in Bangladesh's solar sector, mostly concentrated in solar home systems including 10,000 jobs in solar-module assembly.

But obtaining finance to expand the business has been a key challenge, experts said, with bank officials often lacking the knowledge needed to assess solar projects.

To create manufacturing jobs in the supply chain, the government should set quotas so that a certain share of solar panels must be procured locally, added Moin.


Nestled between the scenic Brahmaputra River and farm fields in Mymensingh district, stands a 50-MW solar park set up by HDFC Sinpower Limited, a joint venture between Bangladeshi, Malaysian and Singaporean investors.

The plant, which has supplied power to the grid since last November, is one of eight large-scale solar plants operating in Bangladesh, which have combined capacity of about 230 MW.

Ibrahim Johny, 25, who works as a security guard at the Mymensingh solar park was unemployed before getting this job, he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation at the entrance.

Plant manager Ahsanul Muznebin said 42 local people are employed there as module cleaners, while another 14 work as security guards and 12 as operation and maintenance engineers.

But setting up a new solar park is difficult because Bangladesh has little available land, said BUET professor Khan.

A national land use policy from 2001 prohibits conversion of fertile agricultural land for other purposes.

Mymensingh solar park manager Muznebin told the Thomson Reuters Foundation it took almost two years to acquire the 174 acres needed for the plant, as farmland could not be used.

Chowdhury, who authored the draft solar roadmap, said sufficient land could be found for solar parks by reclaiming barren riverside areas and estuaries, while farmland could also be used for both agriculture and power generation.

He urged the government to take responsibility for organising land for large-scale solar parks and developing transmission infrastructure for solar power hubs.

It should also ease the stringent qualification criteria and approval process for ground-mounted solar farms, he added.

Alam, of the sustainable energy authority, said plummeting investment costs gave solar a bright future in Bangladesh and the government would support its development, including by setting a new target in a revised renewable energy policy due in 2023.

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Bangladesh entering the gigawatt club

Very few solar plants across the world produce more than 1,000MW from a single unit


Special Correspondent

August 25, 2022 9:00 PM

For the first time since the country introduced solar systems in 1996, Bangladesh has received several proposals from foreign and local private firms willing to set up 1,000MW solar power plants – thanks to the government’s timely steps to shift to clean energy in phases.

According to several highly-placed officials asking not to be named, the government received at least three such proposals seeking unsolicited bids to implement the projects, each of which may need an investment of over Tk15,000 crore or over $1.5 billion and vast land.

The proposed locations are Zajira in Shariatpur, Saral of Banshkhali in Chittagong and Swarna Dwip (formerly Jahazzair Char) in Noakhali.

There are very few solar plants across the world producing more than 1,000MW from a single unit – with China, India and the UAE leading the race, and are working to expand the capacity to 5,000-10,000MW in the next few years.

On the other hand, Bangladesh gets around 230MW of electricity from eight grid-tied solar plants.

Shariatpur district on the southern side of the Padma Bridge does not have any power plants. On the other hand, Swarna Dwip island still has vast land suitable for installing solar panels. 

Banshkhali will see its first mega power plant, two coal-fired units each with a capacity of 660MW, go into operation this year. If approved, the 1,000MW solar plant will be set up at Saral Union of the upazila.

Bangladesh Army’s 33rd Infantry Division has been in charge of the 370sq-km island since 2013 and has been implementing different development projects alongside setting up a base for exercises. 

In February this year, the US-based Pacific Energy Group, LLC (Pacific Energy), through its subsidiary Eleris Energy Limited, Hong Kong, signed a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with the Bangladesh Army Welfare Trust, on building the plant. 

Of the 11 other proposals currently being reviewed by the government, Sreemangal in Moulvibazar has been proposed for a 300MW plant, Mongla in Bagerhat for 200MW, and Gaibandha and Thakurgaon for two 200MW plants.

The other plants have an estimated capacity of 10-70MW, several senior officials concerned told Dhaka Tribune.

Bright future

The contribution of solar energy to the national grid is negligible – around 1% of total daily generation of around 12,000-14,000MW. In FY2017-22, generation by solar plants increased marginally – from 38MW in 2020 to 230MW in 2022.

In the last couple of years, many local and foreign investors have expressed interest in setting up large-scale solar plants. During this time, eight solar parks have been established and these are now adding around 230MW to the national grid every day.

The government has already cancelled at least 10 coal-power projects of more than 8,000MW capacity to meet the country’s climate change commitments.

Bangladesh now produces over 890MW from renewable sources – a meagre 2.9MW from wind energy, 230MW from the country’s lone hydropower plant at Kaptai in Rangamati and the rest from solar parks. 

The country’s largest grid-tied solar power plant, producing around 100MW of electricity in Mongla of Bagerhat, came into operation in December last year.

The 3.28MW plant at Sarishabari in Jamalpur is the country’s first grid-tied solar power facility that came into commercial operation in 2017.

The other key players operating solar parks are the consortiums of HETAT-DITROLIC and IFDC Solar (50MW in Mymensingh), Spectra Engineers Limited and Shunfeng Investment Limited (35MW in Manikganj); Joules Power Limited (20MW in Cox’s Bazar), and Parasol Energy Ltd (8MW in Panchagarh).

Since 1996, the number of Solar Home Systems (SHS) units has now reached a whopping 6,037,601-mark. Meanwhile, the off-grid generation of electricity from SHS, irrigation and rooftop units, street lights and solar-powered telecom BTS amounts to 351MW, according to the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda).

There are some 2,592 solar irrigation units producing 48.14MW; some 296,861 street lights with a capacity of 17.07MW; 115 rooftop units (except for net metering) of 14.20MW and 1,933 solar-powered telecom BTS generating 8.06MW.

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নারায়ণগঞ্জে হচ্ছে ৬ মেগাওয়াট সক্ষমতার বর্জ্যভিত্তিক বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্র

নিজস্ব প্রতিবেদক

সেপ্টেম্বর ০১, ২০২২


বর্জ্য থেকে বিদ্যুৎ উৎপাদন করতে নারায়ণগঞ্জে স্থাপিত হচ্ছে ছয় মেগাওয়াট ক্ষমতাসম্পন্ন বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্র। নারায়ণগঞ্জ সিটি করপোরেশনের আওতাধীন ৯ নম্বর ওয়ার্ডের জালকুড়ি এলাকায় এই কেন্দ্র স্থাপন করা হবে।

এ বিষয়ে আজ বৃহস্পতিবার রাজধানীর সোনারগাঁও হোটেলে কনসোর্টিয়াম অব ইউডি এনভায়রনমেন্টাল ইকুইপমেন্ট টেকনোলজি কোম্পানি লিমিটেড নামে চীনের একটি কোম্পানির সঙ্গে চুক্তি করেছে বাংলাদেশ বিদ্যুৎ উন্নয়ন বোর্ড (পিডিবি)।

চুক্তি সই অনুষ্ঠানে প্রধান অতিথি হিসেবে উপস্থিত ছিলেন স্থানীয় সরকারমন্ত্রী মো. তাজুল ইসলাম, বিশেষ অতিথি বিদ্যুৎ-জ্বালানি ও খনিজসম্পদ প্রতিমন্ত্রী নসরুল হামিদ, নারায়ণগঞ্জ সিটি করপোরেশনের মেয়র ডা. সেলিনা হায়াৎ আইভী, নারায়ণগঞ্জ-৪ আসনের সংসদ একেএম শামীম ওসমান এবং চীনের রাষ্ট্রদূত এইচইলি জিমিং, স্থানীয় সরকার মন্ত্রণালয়ের সচিব মো. মেজবাহ উদ্দিন চৌধুরী এবং বিদ্যুৎ বিভাগের সচিব মো. হাবিবুর রহমান।

স্থানীয় সরকারমন্ত্রী মো. তাজুল ইসলাম বলেন, বাংলাদেশ সরকার পরিবেশ ভারসাম্য রক্ষায় যেসব প্রকল্প গ্রহণ করতে চলেছে নারায়ণগঞ্জের প্রকল্পটি তার একটি। এর আদলে সারা দেশের পৌরসভা ও গ্রামে এই কাজ করা হবে। এরমধ্যে ২০ থেকে ৩০টি জায়গা আমরা চিহ্নিত করেছি।

বিদ্যুৎ প্রতিমন্ত্রী নসরুল হামিদ বলেন, এই কেন্দ্র থেকে যে বিদ্যুৎ কেনা হবে, তার দাম হবে প্রতি ইউনিট প্রায় ২০ টাকা। অথচ আমরা এটি বিক্রি করবো ৫ থেকে ৬ টাকায়। এই ঘাটতির সংস্থান করবে বিদ্যুৎ বিভাগ। এর মূল কারণ হচ্ছে— প্রধানমন্ত্রী চেয়েছেন দেশের সব বর্জ্য ব্যবস্থাপনার একটি নির্দিষ্ট কাজ হোক। উনার এই আগ্রহের কারণে আজকের এই প্রকল্প। তিনি বলেন, নারায়ণগঞ্জ এই প্রকল্পের পর পরিবেশবান্ধব ও মডেল শহরে পরিণত হবে।

স্বাগত বক্তব্যে পিডিবির চেয়ারম্যান মাহবুবুর রহমান বলেন, এই কেন্দ্রটি স্থাপন হলে নারায়ণগঞ্জের বর্জ্য ব্যবস্থাপনা অনেক ভালো অবস্থানে আসবে। এই কেন্দ্র থেকে নো-পেমেন্ট নো-ইলেকট্রিসিটি অনুযায়ী বিদ্যুৎ নেয়া হবে। এখান থেকে প্রতি ইউনিট বিদ্যুৎ ২০ দশমিক ৯১ সেন্টে কিনবে পিডিবি৷ এই চুক্তি সইয়ের পর ৪৫৫ দিনের মধ্যে প্রকল্পটি বাস্তবায়ন করা হবে। আমি আশা করছি, নির্দিষ্ট সময়ে এই কাজ শেষ হবে।

কনসোর্টিয়াম অব ইউডি এনভায়রনমেন্টাল ইকুইপমেন্ট টেকনোলজি কোম্পানির সিইও জো টিং জি বলেন, বেল্ট ইন ইনিশিয়েটিভ এর আওতায় বিশ্বের বহু দেশ ক্লিন এনার্জি নিয়ে কাজ করছে। এই প্রকল্পের আওতায় আজ নারায়ণগঞ্জে বর্জ্য বিদ্যুৎকেন্দ্র স্থাপন করা হচ্ছে। আমরা আশা করছি, চীনের এই কাজের আওতায় সারা বিশ্বের সবুজ প্রকল্পের অংশ হয়ে উঠবে নারায়ণগঞ্জ।

মেয়র ডা. সেলিনা হায়াৎ আইভী বলেন, দীর্ঘ ১১ বছরের অপেক্ষার পর আমরা আজ এই কেন্দ্র পেতে যাচ্ছি। এজন্য আমরা ২৩ একর জায়গা অধিগ্রহণ করেছি। নারায়ণগঞ্জ থেকে ৫০০ টন ময়লা সংগ্রহ করা হবে এই কেন্দ্রের জন্য। আমরা যদি ময়লা দিতে না পারি, সেক্ষেত্রে ১০০ টাকা করে জরিমানা দিতে হবে। আর ওরা নিতে না পারলে ৫০০ টাকা উল্টো আমাদের দিতে হবে।

তিনি বলেন, এই কেন্দ্র স্থাপনের পর নারায়ণগঞ্জে আর ময়লা থাকবে না। পাশাপাশি শীতলক্ষ্যা নদীর উন্নয়নে আমরা কাজ করতে চাই।

অনুষ্ঠানে বলা হয়, প্রাথমিকভাবে প্রকল্পের মোট ব্যয় ধরা হয় ১৯১১৮.২৫ লাখ টাকা। পরে প্রকল্পের ব্যয় সংশোধিত হয়ে ৩৪৫৯১.৩১ লাখ টাকা ধরা হয়েছে। যা ২০১৮ সালের ৭ নভেম্বর একনেক সভায় অনুমোদিত হয়।

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Contract on Sunday to set up 55MW wind power plant at Mongla

Published:  September 03, 2022 16:53:54

A Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium will sign an agreement on Sunday with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up a 55MW wind power plant on build-own-operate basis at Mongla in Bagerhat.

As per the proposed deal, state-owned BPDB will purchase electricity from the independent power producer (IPP) plant over the period of 20 years, reports UNB.

Earlier, in December 2020, Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase approved the proposal of a Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium to set up the power plant on build-own-operate basis.

As per the proposal of the Consortium of Envision Energy, (Jiangsu) Co. Ltd., China, SQ Trading and Engineering, Bangladesh and Envision Renewable Energy Limited, Hong Kong will develop the plant under a new special project vehicle (SPV) company Mongla Green Power Ltd.

The project cost is expected to be around $96.597 million.

State-owned BPDB will purchase electricity from the plant at a tariff of 13.20 cents, equivalent to Tk 13 per kilowatt hour (each unit).

According to BPDB officials, the government will pay a total of more than Tk 20.35 billion for the entire contract period against its purchase of electricity from the maiden private wind power project.

The Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium was the lone bidder to participate in the tender process invited for the project, said a BPDB official.

According to the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda), only three small wind energy plants, having a total capacity of 2.9MW, have been installed by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) so far against its target of setting up wind power projects having total capacity of 1152MW by 2020.

Earlier, BPDB signed a contract in March, 2015 to award a 60MW wind power project to US-DK Green Energy (BD), a joint venture between Taylor Engineering Group of USA, ph-consulting group of Denmark and Multiplex Green Energy of Bangladesh, to set up the plant at Kurushkul, southeast of Moheshkhali River in Cox's Bazar.

But the sponsor failed to implement the project in the last five years.

The Mongla 55MW wind power project is one of the three similar projects undertaken by the BPDB in recent years. The other two projects were planned for Chandpur and Inani beach in Cox's Bazar.

But its move failed to attract participation of wide-range bidders.

"Only a single bidder - Chinese firm Envision Energy - participated in the tender process for two locations and finally emerged qualified for only one location, Mongla. Again, the government re-tendered for the remaining two locations - Inani beach and Chandpur, ''said a BPDB official.

The bid submission timeline was extended to December 31, said Md Zahir Ahmed, a senior official of the Bangladesh Power Development Board, which floated the tender. Earlier BPDB invited bids for a 100MW offshore wind power project but could not find takers.

Officials at Sreda and BPDB said a number of studies were conducted in collaboration with international donor agencies to assess the wind energy potentials across the country.

The latest one was conducted by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with financial support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which identified nine locations, having wind energy potentials across the country.

The locations, having average wind speed between 5-6 metre per second at a height of over 60-80 metre, are Lalpur of Natore in Rajshahi, Chandpur, Sitakundu and Parkay Beach in Chittagong, Gouripur in Mymensingh, Madhupur Tea Estate in Habigonj, Dacop in Khulna near Mongla port, Inani Beach in Cox's Bazar and Badarganj in Rangpur.

The NREL, in its report submitted to the Power Division, also mentioned that the country has a potential of 30,000MW of wind energy as there are 20,000 square kilometres of areas where wind speed is 5.75-7.75 metre per second.

Experts in the renewable energy industry blamed the implementing agency's failure to present location-specific data and information on wind energy in a credible way before potential investors.

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04 September, 2022, 09:50 pm

Last modified: 04 September, 2022, 10:03 pm

Focus more on generating electricity renewable sources: Nasrul Hamid



File Photo: State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has urged officials to pay more attention to generate electricity from renewable sources.

"You have to work with broader mindset to generate more electricity from the renewable sources," he said, while virtually addressing a contract signing ceremony at Bidyut Bhaban on Sunday for setting up a 55MW wind power plant in Mongla.

He said the wind project is the part of the government's target to generate 10% of electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and 40% by 2040.

A Chinese-Bangladeshi consortium signed the deal with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to set up the plant on a build-own-operate basis at Mongla in Bagerhat.

The Consortium of Envision Energy, (Jiangsu) Co Ltd, China, SQ Trading and Engineering, Bangladesh and Envision Renewable Energy Ltd, Hong Kong will develop the plant under a new special project vehicle (SPV) company Mongla Green Power Ltd.

The project cost is expected to be around $96.597m.

At Sunday's function, BPDB director Golam Rabbani and Mongla Green Energy's managing director Xu Wentao signed the contract on behalf of their respective sides.

As per the deal, the state-owned BPDB will purchase electricity from the plant at a levelised tariff of 13.20 Cents, equivalent to Tk13 per kilowatt hour (each unit).

The BPDB will purchase electricity from the independent power producer (IPP) plant over a period of 20 years spending a total of more than Tk2,000 crore.

This has been the second deal for wind power for which the BPDB signed contract with the private sector sponsor.

Earlier, the BPDB signed the first deal with US-DK Green Energy (BD), a private firm, for setting up a 60MW wind power plant at Cox's Bazar.

Nasrul Hamid inaugurated the ground breaking of the Cox's Bazar plant in March this year.

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‘Rooftop solar panels can produce 4,000MW electricity in Bangladesh’

Idcol CEO says

Star Business Report

Thu Sep 8, 2022 08:40 PM Last update on: Thu Sep 8, 2022 08:47 PM


Bangladesh has the potential to generating over 4,000 megawatts of electricity from rooftop solar panels, said Alamgir Morshed, executive director and CEO of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (Idcol).

The Idcol has set a target to finance 300 MW of power through rooftop solar projects by 2025, he added.

He spoke at a workshop on installation of rooftop industrial solar system at M Anis Ud Dowla Conference Hall at Police Plaza Concord in Dhaka on Wednesday.

Rooftop solar panels can produce power at cost lower than the grid tariff, experts said at the event.

Thus, financing such projects makes financial sense apart from achieving the country's target of renewable energy-based power generation, they said.

The government has expressed its vision to generate 4,200 megawatts (MW) of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030.

Md Habibur Rahman, secretary to power division, and Sharifa Khan, secretary to the Economic Relations Division, also spoke.

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Reyad Hossain

09 September, 2022, 11:10 pm

Last modified: 09 September, 2022, 11:14 pm

Industries invest big time in solar to combat energy crunch


Amid a power supply crunch triggered by severe energy shortages and a fear that power tariff may go further up in coming days, industries in Bangladesh are increasingly turning to solar plants to meet a part of their electricity needs.

Some entrepreneurs are also installing sophisticated energy-efficient equipment to reduce power consumption. They are trying to cope with the situation by installing boilers that work even at low gas pressure.

Entrepreneurs have told The Business Standard that they do not see a long-term solution to the energy and power crisis.

Electricity bills will keep increasing steadily, coming close to the cost of self-managed power generation, they mentioned, adding that global buyers of Bangladeshi apparels are also asking Bangladeshi suppliers for a long-term plan on green energy as there is a pressure on them to reduce the use of electricity generated using fossil fuels such as gas and coal in the production process in the supply chain.

On the other hand, reliance on diesel has increased for the time being to tackle the current crisis, which is driving up the cost of production.

Factories in some areas of the country including Narayanganj, a hub of knit fabric production, are forced to run diesel generators due to severe gas shortages. Although they have to pay the gas bill, they are forced to spend crores of taka every month for using diesel also.

This is the backdrop against which some industries are switching to solar plants opting to generate part of their electricity needs, entrepreneurs told TBS.

Rising Group, one of the largest garment and textile mills in the country, has recently installed rooftop solar power plants on its two factories in Manikganj and Gazipur with an investment of $2 million. The plant in Manikganj has a capacity to produce 3MW electricity while that in Gazipur has a daily production capacity of 1MW.

Mahmud Hasan Khan Babu, managing director of Rising Group, said, "We think the crisis of gas-based electricity will remain in the long run. Fuel prices are also uncertain. From the experience of the past few years, we may assume that power tariffs will continue to rise."

So, the Riging Group factories are trying to meet some of their electricity needs through solar panels as what Mahmud said "part of long-term preparations".

"This is also a part of the Sustainable Green Energy Initiative," he added.

The group's two solar plants having a lifespan of 25 years will produce 5,282MW of electricity annually, he told TBS, adding this will reduce carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions by 63,751 tonnes and save an estimated 4,71,759 barrels of crude oil.

Rising Group has also taken up a new initiative to expand its existing solar power generation capacity by installing a 3.6MW plant in its factory in Manikganj, which will reduce CO² emissions by around 55,000 tonnes and save over 4 lakh barrels of crude oil in its lifetime.

At least four industry owners have told TBS that they have plans to install solar plants as part of long-term preparations to tackle possible future energy crises.

Zaber & Zubair Fabrics Ltd, a sister concern of Noman Group, one of the top textile manufacturers in Bangladesh, already has a 400KW solar plant. A new solar plant with 1MW capacity is under construction. Many other companies of Noman Group are following suit.

Fakir Fashions Ltd of Narayanganj has started the installation of a 2MW solar plant.

Gazipur-based Mosharaf Composite Textile Mills Limited is checking the feasibility of installing a solar plant, its Managing Director Md Mosharaf Hossain told TBS.

Some entrepreneurs in the knitwear sector also are said to be treading this path.

On the other hand, some industries are trying to deal with the current situation by installing new machinery that is more energy efficient, consumes less electricity or can keep the factory running even with low gas pressure.

Nonetheless, renewable energy sources, even more so solar power, still accounts for less than 1% of the total electricity generation in the country.

Alamgir Morshed, executive director and CEO of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (Idcol), recently said in a discussion that the country has the potential to generate more than 4,000MW of electricity with rooftop solar plants.

Industrialists, however, have said renewables may be of some benefit to factories that require relatively less gas or electricity, but they cannot substitute gas.

Use of energy-efficient machines on rise

Fazlee Shamim Ehsan, managing director of Fatullah Fashion Ltd, told TBS that the permissible gas pressure in his factory is 10 pounds per square inch (psi), but it often drops below 2 psi.

The factory has four boilers. Recently, they have replaced one of the boilers and the new one can operate at 2 psi pressure.

Ehsan said he is going to replace the remaining three old boilers as well.

Other factory owners are also trying to change their machineries in this way, he added.

Little Star Spinning Mills Limited in Savar also has replaced some of its old machinery with new ones, resulting in a reduction in power consumption by 18-20%.

Md Khorshed Alam, chairman of the company, told TBS that since they have achieved success by setting up new technology machinery on an experimental basis, they are now mulling installation of such equipment on a larger scale.

Challenges are there

Entrepreneurs have, however, told TBS that there are some challenges in installing solar plants on their own initiatives or using new technology and machinery to reduce power consumption.

A hefty amount of initial investment is required for the installation of a solar plant and the maintenance cost is high as well, which is difficult for many entrepreneurs to afford. Again, this requires a lot of open space, which is not possible for all factories.

Moreover, the amount of electricity obtained from such plants is not much because they depend only on sunlight.

Apart from this, while the cost per unit of gas-based power generation is Tk5-6, the production cost of one unit of solar power is around Tk9, industry insiders said.

On the other hand, it is not an easy solution for everyone in the current situation, because it takes at least six months to complete a solar plant project.

Increased diesel use raises cost burden

The government's rationing of gas and electricity as part of austerity measures has led to a reduced supply of these utilities in the industrial areas of the country. Amid frequent power outages and reduced gas pressure, the cost of using diesel as an alternative system for power generation has increased for entrepreneurs.

Industrialists said currently there is a severe shortage of gas in Narayanganj. Besides, some areas of Savar, Gazipur, and Manikganj are also experiencing reduced gas supply.

Fazlul Hoque, managing director of Plummy Fashions Limited, a Narayanganj-based knit garment factory, told TBS, the company is having to bear an additional expenditure of Tk25-30 lakh on diesel every month.

The additional cost of Fatullah Dyeing is about Tk2.25 crore per month.

Other factory owners also have reported a similar rise in expenses for the same reason.

A knitwear factory owner told TBS that the additional expenditure on diesel alone is raising the production cost of a T-shirt by $0.4.

If this continues for long, factories will face financial losses, making it difficult for them to repay bank loans, he feared.

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