The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has recently launched a $17 million clean energy project in Bangladesh that looks to expand the country's access to affordable clean energy.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry highlighted the project during his visit to Dhaka with Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in April 2021, reads a press statement by the US embassy in Bangladesh.
Derrick S Brown, mission director, USAID Bangladesh, and Mohammad Alauddin, chairman, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda) announced the launch of the project titled Bangladesh Advancing Development Growth through Energy (BADGE) on Monday.
They elaborated the details of the five-year-long project to key energy stakeholders at the project's launching event titled 'US-Bangladesh Climate Mitigation and Energy Cooperation - Launch of USAID BADGE program.'
According to the press statement, BADGE will expand Bangladesh's access to affordable clean energy, support clean energy entrepreneurship, foster transparent and efficient energy markets, and advance innovation.
The project also aims to create an enabling environment for the development of advanced energy technologies, high performing energy institutions, increased regional energy trade, and transparent and best-valued energy procurement in Bangladesh.
"We see tremendous opportunity in powering countries like Bangladesh with clean energy. Through the BADGE activity, we aim to improve access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy systems and promote transparent and efficient energy markets," Brown said at the launching ceremony.
BADGE is one of USAID's main activities to accelerate clean energy and net-zero strategies in Bangladesh and achieve the goals of Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) across the Indo-Pacific region.
It is also a part of USAID's recently launched "Energizing a Net-Zero Asia" initiative that comprises seven new next-generation clean energy programmes, totalling more than $200 million, to establish foundations for a net-zero energy grid in Asia.
The US government, through USAID, has provided more than $8 billion in development assistance to Bangladesh since its independence. In 2020, USAID alone provided over $200 million to improve the lives of people in Bangladesh.