Solar power illuminates 2cr marginal people

10 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Solar power illuminates 2cr marginal people

A solar power panel on the roof of a home in Koira upazila of Khulna. —Collected photo

As part of the government campaign for expansion of renewable energy sources in the country, solar home system illuminated houses of 2 crore marginal people.

 “We have successfully installed 58 lakh Solar Home Systems (SHSs) across the country as part of green and clean energy campaign globally,” State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told BSS.

He said being encouraged by the government’s steps and incentives for expansion of renewable energy in the country, entrepreneurs have been setting up SHS.

 “We will bring 100 percent people under electricity coverage within the Mujib Borsho and around 99.8 percent people have already come under electrification, as power generation capacity reached 25,171 MW,” Nasrul Hamid said.

He said the government will continue incentives and cooperation in expansion of renewable energy in the country.

According to the ministry source, solar energy is the most potential source of renewable energy in Bangladesh due to its geographical location.

It said it has been possible to generate 490 MW power from solar energy, of which 250MW electricity is coming from solar home systems, installed as a stand-alone off-grid in remote areas.

The government has been introducing net metering system to encourage renewable energy based distributed generation in the country. The metering system saves electricity cost of the consumers. At present 722.6 MW of electricity is coming from renewable sources, which will be 17 percent of the total electricity generation in 2041.

The present government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina installed 120 more power plants in the country and provided new electricity connections to 2.90 crore consumers after assuming power in 2009.

Now the number of power consumers is 3.98 crore, which was only 1.08 crore in 2009.

The government has a plan for universal access to quality electricity in a cost-effective and affordable manner.

Realizing the ever increasing demand of electricity for socio-economic development and progress of the country, the government has initiated sub-regional cooperation in the field of power generation, grid connectivity and overall energy security.

Cooperation has been initiated through SAARC, SASEC and BIMSTEC for sharing of hydropower through cross-border connectivity and capacity development.

Mentionable, more than a quarter of the rural population in Bangladesh still does not have access to electricity. For millions of people, daily activities like cooking, working and studying are difficult, or even impossible, after sundown.

But off-grid solar power is rapidly changing all this.

Bangladesh has one of the world’s largest domestic solar energy programmes. The World Bank and other development organizations, along with the private sector, are working with the government to bring affordable, solar-powered electricity to places where the traditional grid doesn’t reach.

Small-scale solar home systems now provide electricity to more than 4 million households and about 20 million people in rural areas, roughly one-eighth of the country's population.

The programme has also introduced 1,000 solar irrigation pumps and 13 solar mini-grids.