Originally posted in Dhaka Tribune on 14 March, 203
The study additionally reveals that Bangladesh could build more than 12,000MW renewable energy capacity without putting any pressure on the agricultural land
A rapid scale-up of 2,000MW solar power capacity and replacement of all diesel-run irrigation systems with solar power could save Bangladesh more than $1 billion worth of LNG and diesel imports per annum, finds a study conducted by a researcher from the US-based institute, National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR).
The study reveals that replacing diesel-fired irrigation systems with solar-powered systems and new capacity addition of 2,000MW of solar power for daytime application could help avoid 5.58 million tons of CO2 emissions per annum, according to a press release issued on Tuesday.
“The present energy crisis is an opportunity for Bangladesh to build increasingly competitive renewable energy capacity and thus reduce the dependence and imports of expensive and volatile fossil fuels, such as LNG,” Shafiqul Alam said, the author of the study.
The cost of electricity generation from rooftop systems currently stands at Tk5.25 per kWh. Therefore, industries can reduce per unit electricity cost during the daytime by 40% compared to the cost of grid electricity.
Similarly, utility-scale solar can generate electricity at Tk7.6/kWh, which is 14% less than the average electricity generation cost of BPDB in FY2021-22.
The study additionally reveals that Bangladesh could build more than 12,000MW renewable energy capacity without putting any pressure on the agricultural land if industrial rooftops and special economic zones are used, and diesel-powered irrigation systems are replaced with solar-powered systems.
Other key findings of the study include:
Current interest rates under the green refinancing scheme of Bangladesh Bank are already favourable for renewable energy expansion in the country. However, funding from multilateral agencies and international sources are needed for accelerated deployment of renewable energy in the country.
A scale-up of renewable energy would boost Bangladesh’s energy security needs and contribute to stable electricity supply.