The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank, has joined hands with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) of Bangladesh to develop a 35 MW solar project.
This partnership will see the development of the solar power plant in the Kushtia district of the country. The pilot project, which is to be developed on a public-private partnership (PPP) model, will be developed through competitive bidding and will showcase the project as a viable model of a solar power project in Bangladesh involving the private sector.
Currently, nearly 90% of the population of Bangladesh has access to electricity, and the country is trying to increase the share of renewable power in its energy mix from 3% to 10% by the end of 2021. The country plans to double the renewable energy share by 2030. One of the main impediments hampering the growth of renewable energy in the country is the limitation of land for renewable energy projects.
Commenting on this latest development, Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, said, “This is a unique concept as it will support the government in creating a viable and sustainable renewable energy model in Bangladesh, using marginal low-lying land to produce solar energy. This model can be repeated across the country. By engaging the private sector, we aim to promote more investment in renewable energy projects in Bangladesh and reduce reliance on thermal energy.”
As a lead advisor to SREDA, IFC aims to provide all the help and support in attracting a credible private sector developer for the project through a transparent bidding process. The IFC has a global portfolio of over $8.2 billion in the power and energy sectors, half of which is in renewables.
Earlier, the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh Limited (EGCB), an enterprise of Bangladesh Power Development Board, floated a tender for 50 MW (AC) of solar power projects at Sonagazi located in the country’s Feni district. Apart from the design, supply, installation, and commissioning of the projects, the scope of the tender also includes the operation and maintenance services for three years.
Last year, the World Bank approved $185 million to facilitate 310 MW of renewable energy generation capacity in Bangladesh to meet the growing demand for electricity in the country and also to encourage private sector participation in developing renewable energy projects in the country.
Rakesh is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, he worked in many roles as a business correspondent, assistant editor, senior content writer, and sub-editor with bcfocus.com, CIOReview/Silicon India, Verbinden Communication, and Bangalore Bias. Rakesh holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU). More articles from Rakesh Ranjan.