High hope on solar
The Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Idcol) yesterday celebrated the installation of three million solar home systems (SHSs) in the country.
The three million SHSs installed under an Idcol programme are currently generating 135 megawatts of electricity in the off-grid areas, where electricity may not reach in the near future.
As a result, more than 15 million people are benefitting from solar electricity for lighting, watching TV, charging mobile phones and other low load appliances.
As of May, more than 3.1 million SHSs have been installed with support from the World Bank and other development partners, according to Idcol, the implementing agency.
Idcol, the state owned non-banking financial institution, has now set a target to finance six million such systems by 2017.
“We've set a target to provide solar energy facility to three million more families over the next three years through Idcol,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said while inaugurating the celebration programme at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka, reports UNB.
The PM said Idcol's Solar Home System is one of the largest and fastest growing off-grid renewable energy programmes in the world.
The primary objective is to supply clean electricity in the energy-starved off-grid rural areas of Bangladesh and hence, supplementing the government's vision of ensuring access to electricity for all by 2021.
During the last 15 years, Idcol has been playing a significant role in infrastructure development and generation of renewable energy and emerged as the biggest partner in financing these sectors, she added.
There is huge potential of solar-based irrigation pumps in the country, the PM said, as quoted by UNB.
At present, the number of diesel-run irrigation pumps in the country is 14 lakh, “For these, we've to import a huge quantity of diesel spending our valuable foreign exchange.”
Besides, she said, to run the 150,000 electricity-run irrigation pumps, the power grid has to bear an immense pressure. “If a portion of these pumps can be put under the solar-based irrigation system, the import of diesel will decrease significantly and the pressure on the national grid will ease.”
As part of the celebration, Idcol is organising a two-day fair on renewable energy at Sonargaon Hotel that begins today.
The Idcol Green Energy Expo will accommodate 50 stalls including 47 national and three international participants, Idcol said in a statement.
Idcol started financing SHSs in January 2003 with support from the World Bank and Global Environment Facility. The initial target was to finance 50,000 SHSs by June 2008, which was achieved three years ahead of schedule and with $2 million less than the projected cost, it said.
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