The government’s clean power department has signed a co-operation agreement with a major clothing industry trade body in a bid to drive net-metered solar rooftop installation.
Raach Solar and its Power Utility Bangladesh Ltd local partner have landed two contracts to supply more than 700 pumps in the north-western Bogra district, with the Asian Development Bank footing the bill.
Time is running out for the government to achieve its goal of universal access to electricity by next year but Dhaka has doubled down by allocating $26 million for PV panels in hard-to-reach areas.
Installers which took advantage of cheaply-priced government finance say customers affected by the Covid-19 crisis cannot afford to pay for the solar home systems they have rolled out while expanding renewables programs.
Industry figures indicate the expansion of the Bangladeshi grid is hitting demand for the solar home systems which have traditionally generated power for homes formerly out of reach of the electricity network.
Firming up the payment system for solar energy exported back into the grid from PV-powered pumps will offer owners a new revenue stream, eat into a $1 billion annual diesel fuel bill and reduce strain on the grid by up to 1.5 GW daily during the agricultural season.
The authorities expect to add 300 MW of rooftop solar in the next four years thanks to net metering regulations and hope the nation’s extensive clothing and textile industry will be encouraged to adopt PV.
The cash injection will itself help provide affordable financing for solar and other renewables projects in the power hungry south Asian nation. The national railways operator is doing its bit for solar too.
Minister unveils plan to install small-scale systems on all educational buildings as part of aim to generate 10% of power from renewables by next year. The program will be privately funded, according to industry insiders.
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