Bangladesh hikes solar power production
Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), the state owned financial institution, is set to install 2000 solar panel-based mini-grid power plants in the off-grid areas of Bangladesh.
“Under this programme, with an average capacity of 25KW, plants will be installed in the off-grid areas to produce 113kWh electricity per year,” IDCOL CEO Islam Sharif said in Dhaka yesterday.
According to a survey, a solar mini-grid of 25kW size can save kerosene consumption of 60 households or small shops each of which consumes 8l of kerosene per month, which finally save 9,400 tones of kerosene per year.
A solar mini-grid of 25kW capacity will generate electricity for 4.5 hours and produce 113kWh electricity that finally reduce demand for 82GWh of electricity from the national grid per year, the study said.
According to the power division, IDCOL will select some non-government organisations or private entities as partner organisation to implement the programme on the basis of management capacity, financial strength and micro-finance experience.
The CEO said IDCOL would assess the proposals submitted by private entities, approve those on set guidelines and disburse grants and soft loans to them to implement it.
“Private entities will be responsible for selection of areas and target consumers. They will install the plants and supply electricity to the consumers and obliged to operate the plant for at least the loan period,” Islam said.
Bangladesh has a vast experience in installing solar home system in remote and off grid areas, but the idea to install solar mini-grid is unique.
Recently the government has taken up a pilot project to using solar energy in irrigation pumps that is also a new thing in energy sector.
Every month, more than 30,000 solar home systems are being installed in Bangladesh that added one and half MW of electricity. IDCOL along with other NGO are engaging in installing solar home system.
To promote the programme in Bangladesh, the government lifted all sorts of tax and VAT from the renewable equipment.

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