EU disseminates study on opportunities to scale up rooftop solar in Bangladesh

The European Union in Bangladesh, under the Team Europe Initiative Green Energy (TEI GET), hosted an event in Dhaka on “Opportunities for Scaling up Rooftop Solar in Bangladesh” at The Westin.

Habibur Rahman, Senior Secretary Power Division, Ministry of Power Energy and Mineral Resources, and Munira Sultana, Chairperson, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), attended the event as Chief Guest and Special Guest respectively.

Opening remarks were delivered by Michal Krejza, Head of Development Cooperation and Minister Counsellor, EU Delegation to Bangladesh.

Chief Guest Habibur Rahman said: “We thank the EU for organizing the study dissemination event. Bangladesh is gaining some momentum in its journey towards transition to sustainable energy. The Generation capacity in grid tied renewable energy is growing; we expect that by 2030 RE projects will add 1270 mw to our system.

The event looked in particular into Bangladesh’s Net Metering scheme, which  aims to promote the expansion of primarily solar PV based renewable electricity by encouraging prosumers (consumers and producers) to install solar PV systems on their premises or rooftops

Rooftop solar are using the utilities infrastructure. In the future, we will start introducing wheeling charges for large producers so utilities can make up for their costs. On 10 MW upper limit, but KEPZ is already utilizing 40 MW so this barrier can be overcome.”

Habibur Rahman also exhorted relevant actors, investors and companies, which have implemented solar successfully to disseminate the experience to popularise the movement.

Financing opportunities are there, potential is there and the government stands ready to support, he observed. 

Charge D´Affairs of the EU Delegation, Bernd Spanier, underlined the transformational impact of the Team Europe approach to Green Energy Transition.

“As European Union, we believe that by thoroughly implementing the European Green Deal at home and in our external policies, we are changing the economic paradigm. We are achieving economic growth through the protection of the environment and through a sustainable approach to resource use, not at the expense of the world we live in.”

Expressing an unwavering desire to work further with Bangladesh, Bernd Spanier reiterated EU’s steadfast commitment to work together towards a greener, more digital and resilient economic model.

This high-level event, bringing together public and private partners in the green energy sector in Bangladesh, disseminated the preliminary results of the EU funded study, 'Barriers and Opportunities for Scaling up Rooftop Solar in Bangladesh', followed by a panel discussion on the findings, recommendations and possible ways forward.

The event looked in particular into Bangladesh’s Net Metering scheme, which  aims to promote the expansion of primarily solar PV based renewable electricity by encouraging prosumers (consumers and producers) to install solar PV systems on their premises or rooftops.

The electricity generated through this can be used for self-consumption at a rate more affordable than the grid tariff rates, while any surplus electricity can be sold back to the grid.

As the market for solar PV rooftop in Bangladesh remains largely untapped, the study looked into the reasons for the relatively low figures and how Rooftop Solar PV can be scaled up in Bangladesh.

The keynote presentation on the study was given by Professor Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury, Director, Center for Energy Research, United International University, followed by a panel discussion, focusing on barriers, opportunities, investment and success stories on rooftop solar in Bangladesh.

The distinguished panelists included high-level representatives from Sustainable Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), SOLARIC, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), H&M Group, Fareast Knitting and Dyeing Industry and Joules Power Limited.

The discussion, facilitated by Md. Ziaur Rahman Khan, Professor, EEE, BUET, was attended by government officials of the concerned ministry, SREDA, representatives from development partners, financial institutions, academia, civil society organisation and private sector actors. 

Incidentally, Team Europe Initiative Green Energy Transition (TEI GET) aims at working together with Bangladesh on its green energy transition to ensure affordable, secure and clean energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If focuses on enhanced energy efficiency, deployment of renewable energy, (smart) grid integration and an enabling regulatory framework. TEI GET is co-chaired by the EU Delegation and Germany and includes Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the European Investment Bank (EIB), Norway and Switzerland.

TEI GET is based on four objectives: 1. Politics and society are aware of and support the importance of a low carbon development; 2. An effective market for sustainable energy is in place, which sets the right incentives for the best technology at the right place; 3. The grid infrastructure is continuously optimized and, where necessary, expanded to integrate the growing share of RE; 4. Energy efficiency is enhanced in generation, distribution and consumption.