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Dhaka Sunday,  May 29, 2022

Bangladesh Ranks 2nd In Access To Power From Off-grid Solar


Bangladesh has made a remarkable success in the power sector as it secured the second position with accessing eight per cent power from off-grid solar solutions under the current government.

According to REN 21 Global Status Report (GSR) released today, Nepal was in the top position with 11 per cent access to electricity from off-grid solar solutions, while Mongolia and Bangladesh jointly secured the second position.

“Year after year, we report success after success in the renewable power sector. Indeed, renewable power has made fantastic progress. It beats all other fuels in growth and competitiveness. Many national and global organizations already cry victory,” Rana Adib, REN21’s Executive Director, said.

“But our report sends a clear warning: The progress in the power sector is only a small part of the picture. And it is eaten up as the world’s energy hunger continues to increase. If we do not change the entire energy system, we are deluding ourselves,” he said.

Growth in renewable power has been impressive over the past five years. But too little is happening in heating, cooling, and transport. Overall, global hunger for energy keeps increasing and eats up progress, the GSR said.

It said the journey towards climate disaster continues unless people make an immediate switch to efficient and renewable energy in all sectors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bangladesh is one of the top six countries with electricity access from off-grid solar solutions,” the report said.

Talking to BSS State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, MP, said the power generation capacity reached 23,436 MW and 97 per cent of people now have access to electricity.

“Bangladesh is now generating 627.92 MW electricity from renewable sources of which 393.99 MW power comes from the solar system,” he said.

The report also revealed that Bangladesh has experienced rapid gains in electrification: the rate of access to electricity in Bangladesh reached 85 percent in 2018, up from only 47 percent in 2010.

As of 2017, eight percent of electricity access in Bangladesh is provided by off-grid solar, making it one of the top six countries with electricity access from off-grid solar solutions, it said.

The report also said one successful business model for the deployment of off-grid solutions is the concept of peer-to-peer electricity trading or “swarm electrification”, which had been tested among rural households in Bangladesh.

Through swarm electrification, households that have a solar home system are able to connect to a low-voltage distribution system and sell their excess electricity to neighbouring households that may or may not have their own solar home system in place.

The government of Bangladesh, SOLshare (Bangladesh) and the national grid operator kicked off a pilot project in 2019 to trial the concept, which could enable more households to connect to electricity, the report added.

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