EU initiative launches green energy transition in Bangladesh

Participant at the Team European Initiative's webinar on 23 June, 2021

Team European Initiative–a joint collaboration of the states under European Union, like-minded European countries and financial institutions– launched its Green Energy Transition (GET) programme in Bangladesh today, Wednesday.

With a commitment of more than € 930 million investment, the GET initiative aims in Bangladesh to build a power system that will lead to maximum share of the country’s energy demand through renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and demand through energy efficiency.

Launching of the programme was held through a webinar attended by Nasrul Hamid, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources, as the chief guest.

Nasrul Hamid said that Bangladesh is facing challenges in popularising the large-scale solar energy because of land scarcity, lack of investment and experts, and cost effective technology.

Multiple use of agricultural land could be a solution, he said adding each initiative requires huge activities involving high expense.

"We expect that Team European Initiative on green energy transition will extend its cooperation through technological, financial and expertise services. On behalf of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, I want to assure that we are extremely positive about clean energy. We have set a target of 40 per cent share for renewable energy by 2041,” the state minister said.

Rensje Teerink, European Union ambassador in Bangladesh, briefed about the Team Europe Initiative which is supported by the European Investment Bank.

“The GET puts resources together while providing opportunities to combine the most appropriate mix of implementing modalities to obtain maximum results,’ she said adding that Team European Initiative will provide a platform to Bangladesh’s transition to green energy.

Head of cooperation at German embassy in Bangladesh, Caren Blume, briefed about Germany’s transition to green energy over the year through the enactment of environment-friendly laws, advanced regulation, changes in pattern of energy consumption, cheap renewable energy innovation and modern grid management.

She provided a break-down of investment in four key pillars– € 2.9 million for backing of low carbon development through politics and society; € 228 million for effective sustainable energy market; € 534.8 million for grid infrastructure optimisation and renewable energy integration; and € 164. 9 million for energy-efficient power generation, distribution and consumption.

European Investment Bank’s head of regional representation in South Asia, Donal Cannon, suggested four particular opportunities for Bangladesh to adapt clean energy–cross-border connectivity of transport and energy, off-shore wind energy exploration, building energy storage capacity and use of smart technologies on the grid.

He said financing on green energy could be done by energy efficiency loan and green sustainable bond.

Anirban Kundu, director of KfW Development Bank in Dhaka, briefed about some examples of roof-top Solar Photo Voltaic on industrial and commercial infrastructures and solar irrigation pumps in off-grid areas in Bangladesh.

Mohammad Alauddin, chairman of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, Mamun SA Abdullah, lead project officer AFD–a France-based international financial institution–in Dhaka, among others including journalists, also spoke.

Koen EVERAERT, representing European Union Delegation, moderated the webinar.