Bangladesh prepares fresh $50m solar home system roll-out


The Bangladesh Army will install 80,000 solar home systems and 5,000 community arrays in the hilly districts of Chittagong after the government doubled the scale of an installation drive in the area.

The cabinet committee on public purchase, chaired by finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, today approved the provision of 40,000 home systems and 2,500 community set-ups, having already green-lit the same volume a week ago.

The solar panels are being supplied for free as part of the government's electrification effort and will be installed by army entity Bangladesh Machine Tools Factory Ltd in the mountainous districts of Khagrachari, Rangamati, and Bandarban.

The latest, $50 million installation drive follows an earlier $9 million project in the area which saw 10,890 home systems, 2,814 community installations, and 5,890 solar-powered cell phone chargers provided between July 2015 and June 2019, benefiting an estimated 13,708 people.

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Bangladesh boasts more than 6 million small scale solar home systems, with a total generation capacity of around 262,753 kWp, making the country the world's largest installer of such units.

The nation's 766.68 MW of renewables generation capacity accounts for 3% of the Bangladeshi power mix, with the government having missed a target to reach 10% by last year.

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