IDCOL gets int’l award for Monpura solar mini-grid project

Special Correspondent

31 May, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The Bangladeshi clean energy company – Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) – has won the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE) award in the ‘Multilateral/International Organisation’ category for its solar mini-grids projects.

These include the Monpura Island project, which is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

As the Covid-19 crisis and cyclone Amphan continue to lay bare the pressures that many people face across Bangladesh, this award is a timely recognition that clean energy projects can help these communities build resilience, said the UNDP on Saturday.

The award highlights in particular the important role mini-grids can play in Bangladesh’s national strategy of universal access to electricity by 2021. UNDP has long been promoting clean energy in the country, and is supporting renewable energy projects that bring life-changing access to electricity in rural areas.

IDCOL was selected for implementing solar mini-grid projects in Bangladesh through the development of a sustainable business model which ensures productive access to electricity for the last mile population living in off-grid areas, while facilitating local industries by creating jobs and supporting local businesses.

Its Monpura Island project was implemented under UNDP’s “Sustainable Renewable Energy Power Generation Project" in partnership with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) at the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resource. It provides uninterrupted supply of grid quality electricity to 1,199 households, 684 shops, and 41 institutions on the island.

Since 2015 ARE, a Brussels-based non-profit global business association in the rural electrification sector, has played a leading role in recognizing clean energy access initiatives by the most passionate and innovative actors in the field. ARE received 77 applications this year and unveiled the six winners on May 18. IDCOL is the first organizsation from Bangladesh to receive this prestigious award. Winners from previous years in this category include GIZ, UN Capital Development Fund, European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and EU Energy Initiative Partnership Dialogue Facility.