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IFC, SREDA sign deal to spur solar power generation in BD

January 07, 2020 00:00:00

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) of Bangladesh to support a solar power plant of 35-50 megawatt capacity in Kushtia district.

The pilot project, which will be developed through competitive bidding under a public-private partnership model, is aimed at demonstrating a viable model for a solar power plant in Bangladesh, drawing in the private sector, said a statement on Monday.

At present, around 90 per cent of Bangladeshis have access to electricity. In addition to increasing access, Bangladesh aims to boost the share of renewable sources in its energy mix from less than 3 per cent to 10 per cent of generation by 2021 and double that by 2030.

Currently, over 90 per cent of the power generation is dependent on fossil fuels. The country also faces challenges with renewable energy projects due to limitations of land.

"This is a unique concept as it will support the government in creating a viable and sustainable renewable energy model in Bangladesh, using marginal low-lying land to produce solar energy. This model can be repeated across the country," said Wendy Werner, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

"By engaging the private sector, we aim to promote more investment in renewable energy projects in Bangladesh and reduce reliance on thermal energy."

As the lead transaction advisor to SREDA, IFC is helping with structuring and tendering of the project to attract a credible private sector developer through a transparent and competitive process.

Meanwhile, the European Commission's Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, Germany's Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership are supporting the funding for consultants.

"This plan to bring in a solar independent power producer through a competitive bidding process will play a pivotal role in developing the country's renewable energy programme by providing increased electricity access and clean energy, which will have positive impact on businesses and households in Bangladesh," said Mohammad Helal Uddin, Chairman of SREDA.

IFC has a committed global portfolio of over US$ 8.2 billion in power and energy sectors, half of which is in renewables.

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