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Renewable energy potential lures secure FDI

Ashraful Islam Raana
21 Nov 2023 21:22:14 | Update: 22 Nov 2023 15:06:02
Renewable energy potential lures secure FDI
— Representational Photo

The global focus on generating electricity from renewable sources for climate change mitigation and long-term energy security is gaining traction in Bangladesh, particularly in solar and wind power, as the government has set a target to generate 30 per cent electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and 40 per cent by 2041.

To meet these goals, both government and private initiatives are underway across the country as highlighted by the Power Division.

Officials from the division reveal that various nations, including South Korea, China, Japan, Singapore, and India, have already invested significantly in expanding Bangladesh's renewable energy (RE) sector. Moreover, there is growing interest from additional countries looking to invest in the country's renewable energy initiatives.

A director at the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) shared that several foreign partners are actively seeking opportunities for investment in renewable energy development in Bangladesh, and discussions are ongoing.

BPDB data indicates that in recent years, eight foreign companies have partnered with local entities to establish independent companies dedicated to generating solar power. Additionally, more than 12 foreign companies have engaged in joint investments with local counterparts across various regions of the country. Approximately 15 companies are currently in the process of finalising investment agreements.

Notable projects include Japan's Marubeni Corporation constructing a 100 MW solar park in Feni’s Sonagazi, and Indian company Shapoorji Pallanji Group Private Solar Power Plant working on a 100 MW Solar Park in Pabna. The initiatives also extend to Sylhet, where a 5 MW solar power project is underway, led by the Japanese company Ikisoji.

Korean company Haor Bangla Korea Green Energy is constructing a 32 MW solar park at Dharmapasha in Sunamganj. Chinese company CETC International is working on a 5 MW solar power project at Patgram in Lalmonirhat. Chinese firm Jiangsu Zhongtian Technology is building a 30 MW solar power plant at Tetulia in Panchagarh.

Chinese company Solarland Electric has invested in the construction of a 3.77 MW solar power plant at Pabna. Beximco Power and Chinese company TBEA Xinjiang Sun Oasis Company Limited have built the largest 200 MW solar park in Gaibadha.

Among the other notable foreign investment solar power plant start-ups—Singaporean firm Eight Minute Energy Singapore Holdings-II is investing in a 50 MW solar power project in Panchagarh. Norwegian company Scatech Solar ASA is investing in 50 MW of solar power at Nilphamari. Singaporean company SME Electrical Pvt is investing in a seven MW solar power project in Chandpur.

Another company from Singapore is making a 50 MW solar power plant at Terkhada in Khulna in joint venture with local companies. Korean company HI Korea Limited is investing in a 70 MW solar power plant in Ishwardi of Pabna.

In addition to solar power, there is a keen interest in wind power potential along the coastal areas of Bangladesh, with India and the United States expressing interest in investing in this sector. Furthermore, several foreign companies are exploring opportunities for electricity generation from waste.

Mohammad Hossain, the Director General of Power Cell, emphasised the shift towards renewable energy, stating that the world is moving away from fossil fuel power plants. Bangladesh is aligning its priorities with this global trend, prioritising renewable energy over fossil fuels. Foreign investors are recognising the profitability of the renewable energy sector in Bangladesh, he added.

As of now, the power generation capacity in the country stands at 28,134 MW, including captive power generation, and an additional capacity of 2,656 MW has been created through import from India. However, the production capacity of renewable energy remains at 1,194.62 MW, highlighting the potential for further growth in the sector.