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Renewable Energy in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, with its 160 million people in a land mass of 147,570sq km is an emerging
economy of South Asia successfully maintaining sustained economic growth of least 6%
since last decade resulted a considerable high electricity demand each year. However, the
demand could never been met due to inadequate generation addition in the past. Load
shedding had been increased. Moreover, outstripping electricity demand-supply gap has been
constraining further economic progress as required to move ahead middle class economy.
Recognizing this fact the present government has prioritized this sector right from the
election manifesto. As per election manifesto of the present government electricity generation
in the country would be 7000 MW by the year 2013, 8000 MW by 2015 and 20,000 MW by
the year 2021. The government has already declared its vision for power sector which has
gone far beyond that. In order to fulfill the vision the government has planned to generate
additional 15,000 MW electricity within 2016 under short, medium and long term which is
even much higher than the target set in the election manifesto. In the government's Road Map
due importance was given on the renewable energy.
Power generation in Bangladesh was mono-fuel dependent, i.e. indigenous natural gas since
2009 considering its apparent huge availability. About 89% of generated power comes from
natural gas and the rest is from liquid fuel, coal and hydropower. The present share of
renewable energy is only 0.5%.

However, in recent years, it was evident that actual scenario is other way round and adequate
supply of natural gas has been at stake due to depleting existing gas reserves and nonexploration of new gas reserves. The uncertainty has been constraining development of
further gas based power generation expansion program. Taking this into cognizance the
government has diversified the fuel mix and under the new generation expansion plan
substantial proportion is from liquid and coal based. In that case the above scenario will be
drastically changed. Development of renewable energy is one of the important strategies
adopted
as
part
of
Fuel
Diversification
Program
Under the existing generation scenario renewable energy has a very small share to the total
generation. However, under the changed perspective renewable energy would have a
significant contribution given the global climate change scenario and carbon trading prospect.

Renewable Energy Expansion Initiative


Government of Bangladesh has taken a systematic approach towards renewable energy
development. The initiative includes development of relevant policy and institutional
development.
1. Renewable Energy Policy
Renewable Energy Policy has been approved in 2008. Through this policy the government is
committed to facilitate both public and private sector investment in renewable energy projects
to substitute indigenous non- renewable energy supplies and scale up contributions of
existing
renewable
energy
based
electricity
productions.
The Policy envisions 5% of total generation from renewable sources by 2015 and 10% of the
same by 2020.
2. Institutional development
Government Power Utilities like Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Rural
Electrification Board (REB), Local Government Agency like Local Government Engineering
Directorate (LGED) and a significant number of Private Sector agencies including NGOs are
involved in renewable energy development. Noted Public Universities and their affiliated
Institutes are involved in research and development of Renewable Energy Applications.
Establishment of a nodal agency, i.e. Sustainable Energy Development Authority (SEDA) as
envisioned in the Renewable Energy Policy is underway. For the interim period and to carry
ahead initial formation activities of SEDA, a wing under leadership of an Additional
Secretary of the Government has been set up. The wing has distinct units of Renewable
Energy and Energy Efficiency headed by two Deputy Secretaries of the Government. There is
new wing on Sustainable Energy has been set up under Power Cell, the technical unit of
Power Division. The wing comprises of one Director and one Deputy Director is extending
technical support to the Renewable Energy Wing of Power Division in formulation of
relevant program and policy. Establishment of separate directorates among the public utilities
can carry forward research and development of Renewable Energy Technologies. With this
purview, independent renewable energy directorates have been set up under BPDB and REB.
The directorates are functioning at full extent. With the above governmental institutional
support it is envisaged that Renewable Energy development Program will gain momentum to
reach the expected target.
3. Renewable Energy Potential in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is hoped to have enormous potentiality in renewable energy development. Some
of the areas like solar PV, the potential of development is already proven. Bangladesh has
fitting geographical condition for solar power. Bangladesh receives an average daily solar
radiation of 4-6.5 kWh/m2. Solar photovoltaic(PV) are gaining acceptance for providing
electricity to households and small businesses in rural areas. Development of off-grid solar
home solutions has achieved international benchmark.

According to a survey, there is an existing market size of 1 million households for Solar
Home Systems (SHS) on a fee-for-service basis in the off-grid areas of Bangladesh. At
present the national grid is serving only 50% of the nearly 10,000 rural markets and
commercial centres in the country which are excellent market for centralized solar
photovoltaic plants. Throughout the country, different government administrative offices,
NGO offices, Health Centers, Schools, banks, police stations etc are functioning. In the offgrid locations, these offices are either using traditional means (lantern, candles, kerosene
wick lamps etc.) or operating their own diesel gensets.
However, potential of other renewable resources is still at the exploration stage. Potential of
Wind Energy is mainly in coastal areas and offshore islands and to determine extent of
potential wind resource mapping project is in process. Some of the development partners and
companies come forward for wind mapping in different parts of the country.
Bangladesh has strong potentialfor biomass gasification based electricity. More common
biomass resources available in the country are rice husk, crop residue, wood, jute stick,
animal waste, municipal waste, sugarcane bagasse etc. Exploration of these resources for
electricity generation is still at preliminary stage.Potentials for utilizing biogas technologies
derived mainly from animal, kitchen and municipal wastes may be one of the promising
renewable energy resources for Bangladesh.
Micro hydro and mini hydro have limited potential in Bangladesh with exception of
Chittagong Hill Tracts. Hydropower assessments have identified some possible sites from 10
kW to 5 MW implementation of which is still at large.
Other renewable energy sources include bio-fuels, gasohol, geothermal, river current, wave
and tidal energy. Potentialities of these resources are yet to be explored.
Resources

Potential

Entities Involved

Solar

Enormous

Public and Private sector

Wind

Resource mapping required

Public sector / PPP

Hydro

Limited potential for micro or Mainly public entities


mini
hydro
(max.
5
MW).
Est. hydro potential: approx. 500
MW

Domestic Biogas System

8.6 Million Cubic Meter of Public and Private sector


Biogas

Rice Husk based Biomass300 MW considering 2 kg ofMainly private sector

gasification Power Plant

husk
per kWh

consumption

Cattle waste based Biogas350 MW considering 0.752 m3 ofMainly private sector


power plants
biogas consumption per kWh.
Other renewable energy sources include bio-fuels, gasohol, geothermal, river current, wave
and tidal energy.

4. Achievement in Renewable Energy Development in Bangladesh


Government utilities are involved in large scale grid connected renewable energy based
power project development. On the other hand, private sector is involved with off-grid homebased renewable energy solutions.
The first significant PV-based rural electrification programme was the Norshingdi project
initiated with financial support from France. Since the introduction of SHS in 1996 it has
become now the biggest renewable energy program in Bangladesh so far installed 900,000
units and ever increasing due to an integrated program undertaken by the government through
its financial institution, IDCOL. IDCOL's program is considered as a successful model for
installation of SHSs in the world. Till now, national capacity of renewable energy based
power is approx. 50 MW as shown below:

Category

Achievement

SHS

45 MW

Other Solar PV Applications 1 MW


including Solar Irrigation

Wind Energy

2 MW

Biomass based electricity

<1 MW

Biogas based electricity

1 MW

Total

50 MW

In a developing country like Bangladesh where meeting generation shortage is the primary
priority, least cost generation technologies always rule the generation planning.
Unfortunately, renewable energy cannot compete to achieve grid parity at the moment.
Government incentives like FiT can enhance the development process, but it is always
difficult to source fund for such incentives especially under present tariff rationalization
structure. Only a comprehensive large scale program with support to buy-down the cost of
intervention can pave the way for Renewable Energy development.
5. Prevailing Renewable Energy Development Program
In line with the Government's Renewable Energy Policy, govt. has plan to develop at least
500 MW power from renewable energy by 2015. Expected Public Sector Participation in
program is:

Total Capacity

Solar

25 MW

Wind

235 MW

Total

260 MW

Expected Private Sector Participation (through IDCOL) is:

Average
Capacity

Unit
Target

Total Capacity

Solar Home System

50 W

3 million

150 MW

Biogas Plant for cooking gas

2.6 m3

100,000

40 MW

Solar Mini Grid

50 KW

10

1 MW

Solar Irrigation Pump

8 KW

750

6 MW

Biogas based Power Plant

20 KW

300

6 MW

Biomass Based Power Plant

200 KW

15

3 MW

Total

206 MW

Recent Initiatives in Renewable Energy:


1. PDB, REB and IDCOL are distributing Solar Home System (SHS) to the people
living in the off-grid areas. IDCOL through different NGO has already distributed 1.0
million SHS throughout the country.
2. PDB has already installed nearly 11 KW solar power to the CHT area, nearly 230 W
solar power in Angorpot and Dahagram Chitmahal Area and installed 115W at their
office building.
3. Solar PV with capacity of 21.2 KW has been installed at the Hon'ble Prime Minister's
office as a demonstration programme.
4. Nearly 10MW solar plant will be installed by PDB in Sarihabari (2-4 MW), Rigional
Training Office, Rajshahi (1 MW), Rajabarihat, Godagari (2-4 MW) in IPP model.
Preparation of tender documents is underway.
5. Power plant in combination with 1MW solar hybrid system along with 5MW by
diesel, will be set up in Hatia island. 5MW Solar PV plant will be installed in Kaptai .
Some roads of six City Corporation areas will be replaced by Solar Street lights.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) is supporting these projects.
6. REB has taken project for Solar Irrigation System. 40 irrigation pumps will be
brought under solar power under this project.
7. PDB has undertaken a project in a remote area Sullah to provide 600kW solar power
under Climate mitigation programme.
8. 100 MW of wind power will be generated in the off-shore area of Anwara, Chittagong
in IPP model. PQ has already been prepared ,tendering is under process.

9. Govt. has exempted income tax for next 5 years from commercial production from
RE.
Government has recently initiated 500MW Solar power programme with the inspiration and
support of ADB.

Introduction
Government has set up the goal of providing electricity to all by 2020 and to
ensure
reliable and quality supply of electricity at a reasonable and affordable price. Sustainable
social and economic development depends on adequate power generation capacity of a
country. There is no other way for accelerating development except to increase the power
generation by fuel diversification. Development of Renewable Energy is one of the important
strategies adopted as part of Fuel Diversification Program. In line with the Renewable Energy
policy 2009, the Government is committed to facilitate both public and private sector
investment in Renewable Energy projects to substitute indigenous non- renewable energy
supplies and scale up contributions of existing Renewable Energy based electricity
productions. The Renewable Energy Policy envisions that 5% of total energy production will
have to be achieved by 2015 and 10% by 2020. To achieve this target, GOB is looking for
various options preferably Renewable Energy resources. Under the existing generation
scenario of Bangladesh, Renewable Energy has a very small share to the total generation. The
share of Renewable Energy exceeds more than 1% till now. The present Government is
placing priority on developing Renewable Energy resources to improve energy security and
to establish a sustainable energy regime alongside of conventional energy sources.
Government has already launched "500 MW Solar Power Mission" to promote the use of
Renewable Energy to meet the increasing demand of electricity.

Background
Government of Bangladesh has taken a systematic approach towards renewable energy
development. In line with the Government approach Bangladesh Power Development Board
formed the Directorate of Renewable Energy and Research & Development in 2010. Since
the very beginning of establishment the directorate is dedicated to keep a sign for the
enhancement of Renewable Energy use in power sector. There is a good scope for solar,
wind, biomass, micro/mini hydro power generation in Bangladesh. BPDB has taken
systematic steps for developing Renewable Energy projects as well as implement and
promote Energy Efficiency Measures for the last few years to achieve the target of the
Renewable Energy Policy 2008. The directorate is established for feasibility study, planning,
evaluation, examination, monitoring of such projects and to perform necessary research based
works in relative fields. Present manpower of the directorate consists of the director, two
deputy director, five assistant engineers and six staffs.

Solar Power Projects


Implemented Projects
Under the Hill Tracts Electrification Project BPDB has already implemented three solar
projects in Juraichori Upazilla, Barkal Upazilla and Thanchi Upazilla of Rangamati District.
Under 1st, 2nd and 3rd Phases, 1200 sets Solar Home Systems of 120 Wp each, 30 sets Solar
PV Street Light Systems of 75 Wp each, 3 sets Solar PV Submersible Water Pumps of 1800
Wp each, 6 stes Solar PV Vaccine Refrigerators for the Health Care Centers of 360 Wp each
and 2 sets 10 kWp capacity Centralized Solar System for market electrification has been
installed. So, a total of 173.81 kWp Solar PV Systems have been installed in Juraichori,
Barkal and Thanchi upazilla of Rangamati District under the Hill Tracts Electrification
Project.

In the fiscal year 2008-09, BPDB implemented another two solar electrification projects in
Angoorpota and Dohogram Chit Mohol. Under this program, BPDB implemented 2 sets
Solar Home
System of 50Wp each, 2 sets Solar Home System of 80Wp each and 8 sets
Solar Home System of 100Wp each. A total of 1.06 kWp Solar PV Systems have been
installed in Angoorpota and Dohogram Chitmohol.

BPDB implemented 20.16 KWp Solar PV System and that was inaugurated by Prime
Minister at the Office of the Prime Minister on December 2009.
Major solar PV systems implemented by BPDB in the fiscal year 2010-2011 are as follows:
32.75 kWp at WAPDA Building, Motjheeel.
2.82 kWp at Chairman Banglo, BPDB.
6 kWp at Agrabad Bidyut Bhaban, Chittagong.
1.8 kWp at Cox's BPDB Rest House.
Major solar PV systems implemented in the fiscal year 2011-2012 are as follows:
37.5 kWp Solar Roof Top System on15th floor of Bidyut Bhaban.
3 kWp at PC Pole Factory, Chittagong.
3 kWp at Khagrachori BPDB Rest House.

2.16 kWp at Swandip Power House and Rest House.


2.16 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, HatHajari.
3.12 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Fouzdarhat.
3.12 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Rangamati.
1.6 kWp Solar Power System at Titas 50 MW Peaking Power Plant.
1.6 kWp Solar Power System at t Baghabari 50 MW Peaking Power Plant.
1.6 kWp Solar Power System at Bera 70 MW Peaking Power Plant.
1.5 kWp Solar Power System at Chittagong Power Plant.
3.5 kWp Solar Power System at Ghorashal Power Plant.
In the fiscal year 2012-2013 BPDB has implemented the following solar PV systems:
4 kWp Solar Power System at Khulna Power Station.
1.6 kWp Solar Power System at Faridpur 50 MW Peaking Power Plant.
1.6 kWp Solar Power System at Goplagonj 100 MW Peaking Power Plant.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Bakolia.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Pathorghata and Madarbari.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Stadium.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Agrabad.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Halishohor.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Khulshi.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Pahartoli.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Mohora.
2 kWp at Distribution Division, Patiya.
2 kWp at Distribution Division, Bandarban.

6 kWp at Regional Civil Construction Division, Medical centre and Magistrate


Building.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Feni.
2 kWp at Sales & Distribution Division, Chowmuhuni, Noakhali.
1 kWp Solar Power System at the non-residential building and 2 kWp Solar Power
System at the residential building of Santahar 50 MW Peaking Power Plant.
1 kWp Solar Power System at the non-residential building and 2 kWp Solar Power
System at the residential building of Katakhali 50 MW Peaking Power Plant.
1.6 kWp Solar Power System at Dohazari 100 MW Peaking Power Plant.
27.2 kWp Solar Power System at Chandpur 150 MW Combined Cycle Power Plant.
25 kWp Grid Tied Power System at Chittagong Power Station.

Ongoing Projects
v 650 KWp (400 kW load) Solar Mini Grid Power Plant at remote Haor area of Sullah
upazila in Sunamgonj district under Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) on turnkey
basis.
v 8 MWp Grid Connected Solar PV Power Plant at Kaptai Hydro Power Station,at
Rangamati on turnkey basis.
v 3 MWp Grid Connected Solar PV Power Plant at Sharishabari, Jamalpur on IPP basis.
v 30 MWp Solar Park Project adjacent to new Dhorola Bridge, Kurigram on IPP basis.
v Solar Street Lighting Projects in seven (7) City Corporations of the country.
N.B Installation of Solar Roof Top Systems in all BPDB offices across the country is
a continuous process. More than 223 kWp solar PV systems have already been
installed and installations of about 407 kW p solar PV systems are under
planning/implementing stages.

Projects under Planning

v Conversion of existing 37.5 kWp Solar System installed on the rooftop of Bidyut
Bhaban into 37.5 kWp Grid Tied Solar System
v Conversion of existing 32.75 kWp Solar System installed on the rooftop of WAPDA
Bhaban into 32.75 kWp Grid Tied Solar System
v Rehabilitation of 10 KWp Solar Power Plant at the Barkal upazilla sadar of Rangamati
district.
BPDB has planned to install Grid Connected Solar PV Power Plant on IPP basis such
asi) 1 MW Grid Connected Solar Power Plant at Regional Training Centre (RTC),
Rajshahi.
ii) 500 kWp Grid Tied Solar System at 33/11 kV substation's compound of former
Hajigonj Electric Supply, Chandpur.
BPDB has planned to install Solar Mini Grid Power Plant on turnkey basis under
Climate Change Trust Fund (CCTF) at remote and inaccessible areas such asi) 500 kW Solar Mini Grid Power Plant at Swandip Upazila of Chittagong district.
ii) 500 kW Solar Mini Grid Power Plant at Thanchi Upazila of Bandarban district.

BPDB has planned to implement Solar Park Projects on IPP/PPP basis under the
Roadmap of ADBs 500 MW Solar Power Mission such asi) Rangunia 60 MW Solar Park Project on IPP basis at Karnafuli river side, Rangunia,
Chittagong
ii) 40-45 MW Solar Park Project adjacent to Bangabandhu Bridge,Tangail and
Sirajgonj area.
iii) 2-3 MW Solar Park Project adjacent to PGCB Grid Sub-station compound,
Ishwardi.
iv) 1-2 MW Solar Park Project adjacent to PGCB Grid Sub-station compound,
Jhenaidaha.

Wind Power Projects

Implemented Projects
The potential of wind energy is limited to coastal areas, off-shore islands, rivers sides and
other inland open areas with strong wind regime. In order to generate electricity from Wind
Energy, BPDB installed 4x225 KW = 900 KW capacity grid connected Wind Plant at Muhuri
Dam area of Sonagazi in Feni.
Another project of 1000 KW Wind Battery Hybrid Power Plant at Kutubdia Island was
completed in 2008 which consists of 50 Wind Turbines of 20 kW capacity each.

Ongoing Projects
Repairing work of the existing 900 kW grid connected Wind Power Project at Muhuri
Dam of Sonagazi in Feni is going on.
Repair and operation & maintenance of the existing Kutubdia 1000 kW Wind Battery
Hybrid Power Project is underway
Steps have been taken to install 15 MW Wind Power Plant across the coastal regions of
Bangladesh after 1 year Wind Resources Assessment in Muhuri Dam Area of Feni,
Mognamaghat of Coxsbazar, Parky Beach of Anwara in Chittagong, Kepupara of
Borguna and Kuakata of Patuakhali. Wind Mapping is going on at Muhuri Dam area
of Feni and at Mognamaghat of Coxsbazar by Regen Powertech Ltd. of India.
Installation of Wind Monitoring Stations at Inani Beach of Cox'sbazar, Parky Beach of
Anwara, Sitakundu of Chittagong and at Chandpur under USAID TA project is
underway
Projects under Planning
BPDB has planned to implement 50-200 MW Wind Power Project at Parky Beach area,
Anawara in Chittagong on IPP basis.
Power Division and BPDB have primarily identified 22 potential sites for Wind
Resource Mapping in Bangladesh. Wind monitoring stations will be installed at these
sites for comprehensive Wind Resource Assessment (WRA).
BPDB has also plan to expand On-shore Wind Power Plants along the coastline of
coastal regions of Bangladesh.

Hybrid Projects
Ongoing Projects
7.5 MW off Grid Wind-Solar Hybrid System with HFO/Diesel Based Engine Driven
Generator in Hatiya Island, Noakhali.

Projects under Planning


BPDB has planned to install 1 MW off Grid Solar- Diesel based Hybrid Power
Plant in Kutubdia Island.

Micro/Mini Hydro Projects


Implemented Projects

Micro/ mini-hydro have limited potential in Bangladesh with exception of Chittagong Hill
Tracts
region. A 50 kW micro-hydro plant was installed at Barkal Upazila of
Rangamati district in 2005.

Ongoing Projects
50-70 kW Mohamaya Irrigation-cum-Hydro Power Project at Mirersorai, Chittagong.
Rehabilation of 50 kW Micro-Hydro Power Plant at Barkal Upazila of Rangamati
district.

Projects under Planning

Micro-hydro power projects on the potential streams/charas/rivers of CHT regions will


be implemented after detail Feasibility Study.

Energy Efficiency Measures


For energy saving purposes and encourage the use of CFLs by consumers, free CFL
(Compact Fluorescent Lamp) Distribution Program in different offices of BPDB along with
headquarter has been conducted. CFLs, T-5 tube light instead of incandescent bulb will be
installed in all offices of BPDB in different phases. For the efficient use of energy, steps have
been taken to encourage/promote the use of heat reflective glasses for Passive Cooling of
commercial buildings, Solar Powered Security Lighting in urban buildings and replacement
of Diesel/Electric Pumps by Solar Irrigation Pumps, replacement of Electric/Gas Dryer by
Solar Dryer, replacement of Electric/Gas Heater by Solar Water Heater among the consumers
of distribution zones of BPDB. In addition to that energy efficiency measures, alternative and
renewable energy subjects have been introduced in the national Text Book Curriculum of
schools, madrasas and colleges. Energy Star labeling Program has been started by BSTI to
motivate the users to use energy efficient appliances. Electricity Week Program has already
been launched since 2010 with a view to promote energy savings campaigns at consumer and
school level. This program is nationally observed on 7th December each year.
Research Activities
Alongside these projects Directorate of Renewable Energy & Research and Development is
also continuing its own research works in different renewable energy sectors. At this moment
engineers of the directorate are constructing fully operational prototype based Wind Turbine
System, Hydro Emulator Set, Solar Power Converter. The wind turbine system consists of
three different types of turbine technology including horizontal axis and vertical axis turbine.
The total capacity of the system is expected to be 200 W depending on wind velocity.
Complete design, assembly and installation of the turbine system has been done by the
respective engineers. The Hydro Emulator Set will be a small prototype based hydro turbine
system which consists of two different type of turbine technology, Pelton wheel and Kaplan
turbine. The turbine system will run from a small water reservoir tank. Generation capacity of
the two turbines is expected to be 20 W. The complete design of the Emulator Set has been
done by the engineers of the respective directorate. The engineers of the directorate are also
trying to design Solar Power Converter with innovative ideas and new concept. All the
prototypes will be installed at the concern office Lab.