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Dhaka Tribune

Study: Bangladesh needs $26.5bn to generate 40% of electricity from renewables by 2041

Reducing the import duty of solar components is the need of the hour, says an expert

Update : 16 Mar 2023, 10:44 PM

Bangladesh needs an investment of a total of $26.5 billion to achieve the target of generating 40% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2041, a new study says. 

This was revealed in a study, conducted by Change Initiative, a research organization, on renewable energy which placed the report at a seminar titled: “Renewable Energy Financing, Prospects and Challenges in Bangladesh” at the Bangabandhu Military Museum Multipurpose Hall in Dhaka on Thursday.

Zakir Hossain Khan, chief executive and chief researcher of Change Initiative, said in the keynote presentation that Bangladesh has the opportunity to get financing of about $38.44 billion from various international organizations.

However, between 2016 and 2022, Bangladesh received $6.71 billion in renewable energy sector financing from national and international sources.

He said the funding came from several sources including Global Environment Facilities, Global Climate Change Alliance, GCF-PPF, Green Climate Fund, Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Clean Technology Fund among international organizations.

He said according to the Ministry of Land, there are 1,686,000 acres of non-agricultural special land in Bangladesh.

If 5% of this non-agricultural land can be used, it is possible to get 28,000MW from solar power or the renewable sector.

Even, 22,319MW renewable electricity generation is possible only in Khas land of Chittagong region.

Waseka Aysho Khan, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources was present as the chief guest.

Besides, Member of Parliament Ahsan Adelur Rahman, former secretary and former ambassador of Climate Vulnerable Forum Abul Kalam Azad, Director General of Power Cell Mohammad Hossain, and Executive Director of Policy Researchers Institute Ahsan H Mansoor among others, addressed at the seminar.

Abul Kalam Azad said that reducing the import duty of solar components is the need of the hour.

This duty should be reduced for the next 15 years. Targets should be fixed over time. No roof can be left empty in future, he added.

Mohammad Hossain said that in late 2009, some 3% of solar power was mandated for new electricity connections.

“Now we are changing the renewable energy policy. The prime minister wants 40% of total electricity to come from clean energy. Money is not a problem”, he added.

He said that the development partners are now looking to invest in renewable energy. The cost of solar power technology has also come down. “So solar is our next priority,” he said. 

Economist Ahsan H Mansoor said that despite the efforts of the past decade in Bangladesh, clean energy is now at a share of 3%.

“It's not pleasant at all. The whole of Europe is now turning to wind power in the wake of the Ukraine war,” he said. 

That is not possible in Bangladesh, so we have to aggressively move towards renewable energy, he added.

At present, there are duties ranging from 11 to 50% on the import of four types of solar power parts, and the demand to reduce or completely cancel these duties comes from several speakers of the seminar.

The recommendations include providing various incentives including tax concessions to investors in renewable energy for the next 10 years.

Increasing competition, repealing the Speedy Energy and Power Supply (Special) Act, and allowing investors to get non-agricultural Khas land at a fixed rate are also included in the recommendations.

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