Bangladesh among top 20 prospective solar farm capacity nations

Originally posted in The Business Standard on 25 May 2022

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

Photo: Collected

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.