The World Bank has agreed to provide $185m to build 310MW in renewable energy projects in Bangladesh and promote private sector participation in electricity generation.
World Bank is providing the funding for the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Project, which will increase the installed capacity of renewables by piloting and expanding investment in key market segments. At first, a 50MW phase of solar project will be built in Feni district and will be implemented by the Electricity Generation Company of Bangladesh (EGCB).
The 310MW project is expected to add significantly to the country’s energy mix and also help in cutting down carbon emissions, equivalent to about 377,000 tons in one year. Presently, renewable energy is only 1.5% of the total energy mix of the country.
World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Dandan Chen said: “Bangladesh is well on its way towards becoming an upper middle-income country with about 80 percent of the population having access to grid electricity. It also has one of the most successful off-grid renewable energy programs in the world, providing electricity to another 10 percent of the population.
“This project will help expand renewable energy generation capacity. By leveraging all sources of finance, the expanded renewable energy sector is ready to push the country’s growth trajectory further.”
The renewable energy project is expected to help in mobilizing up to $212m from private sector, commercial banks and other sources of financing, to establish a dedicated Renewable Energy Financing Facility to provide credit to developers of both rooftop solar photovoltaics (PV) and large-scale solar PV projects.
The project will support the Infrastructure Development Company (IDCOL) with development of the financing facility and provide resources to the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) to build market capacity and develop a pipeline of renewable energy projects.
World Bank the Scaling-up Renewable Energy Project Team Leader Jari Väyrynen said: “The power sector in Bangladesh has grown rapidly with maximum generation capacity increased from a little over 4,000 MW in 2009 to more than 20,000 MW in 2018. A strong collaboration between the public and private sector will help not only lower carbon emissions, but also meet energy demand.”