China will finance a number of renewable energy projects in Bangladesh with a cumulative power generation capacity to the tune of 500 megawatts (MW).
On Tuesday, North-West Power Generation Company Limited of Bangladesh and China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC), a Chinese state-owned company, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up of ‘Bangladesh-China Power Company (Pvt.) Limited Renewables’ to execute these projects.
Dr Towfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, energy and mineral resources adviser to the prime minister, was present at the MoU signing ceremony at a city hotel as the chief guest. Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, power division Secretary, presided over the ceremony.
Under the agreement, Bangladesh will provide land and the Chinese government will invest around $500 million for the projects. Under the agreement, a total of 500MW will be generated between 2021 and 2022.
Dr Towfiq –E-Elahi Chowdhury said “Officials should be more careful about site selection for renewable power generation projects, because there is no infertile land in Bangladesh. So we have to find out ways for producing electricity and crops using the same land.” “Following others is not always the best option to become developed. Sometimes you need to lead the other,” he added.
According to the power division sources, of the total 500MW electricity (to be produced under the projects), 50MW will be generated from a ‘wind power plant’ to be built at Payra in Patuakhali district.
The rest 450MW will be solar power. To this end, solar parks will be built in the northern districts of Pabna, Sirajganj, and Gaibandha. Under the project, a 60MW solar power plant and a 100MW solar photovoltaic power plant will be built in Pabna and Sirazganj, respectively. These projects, once implemented, will almost double the supply of the country’s clean energy, which presently stands at just over 500MW. All the individual power generation units will be grid-connected.
The CMC has been operating within the country’s power and energy sector over the past several years. The company is in the process of building a 1320MW thermal power plant at Payra in Patuakhali. The company has also been working with Barapukuria Coal Mining Company Limited (BCMCL) to produce coal.
As of now, all of the CMC investments in power and energy sector have been fossil fuel-based projects. However, the company is now aiming to extend its investment to include the renewable energy sector.
The government, over the last 10 years, has undertaken a considerable number of renewable energy projects, which amounts to a combined power generation capacity to the tune of 1,500MW; as many as 40 companies have been engaged to implement these projects; however, only 4 projects, producing only 38MW electricity, have been done to date.
The government aims to produce 6,000MW electricity from renewable energy by 2041.
However, presently the country is getting a little more than 500MW electricity from green energy sources, while the total electricity generation within the country is more than 18,000MW (which include captive and imported power).
According to the Power Sector’s Plan-PSMP-2010, the government has set a target to attain 5 percent of its total power generation capacity from renewable sources by 2015. However, the government has reset its target, and now aims to generate 10 percent of the total electricity from renewable sources by 2020.