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Solar developers buying up land in Bangladesh

A shortage of suitable sites is prompting companies to buy up land before deciding on the specifics of project construction, as a junior minister stated more solar is likely to be waved through by 2025.

The rise of solar in Bangladesh has prompted some entrepreneurs to start buying up land before attending to the specifics of project development.

Imran Chowdhury, country manager for the Singaporean development unit of Chinese inverter maker Sungrow, told pv magazine land shortages in Bangladesh mean the company is addressing site concerns before plant development.

“Sungrow Renewables have plans to develop bankable IPP [independent power producer]-based solar project development in Bangladesh for providing affordable green energy to the national grid.” said Chowdhury.

Rise of solar

The popularity of solar was reflected by an announcement by junior energy minister Nasrul Hamid that the government will approve more solar plans, above and beyond the 1.4 GW of generation capacity due to come online by 2025.

The planned pipeline of 28 under-construction projects includes sites which are ready to start commercial production and others at an advanced stage of building, according to industry insiders.

The largest of the announced projects are reportedly between 50 MW and 100 MW in size.

Addressing the fifth energy transition council ministerial meeting this week, Hamid said solar contributes 554 MW of the nation’s 788 MW of clean power generation capacity.

The politician said more than six million solar home systems supply electricity to 12% of Bangladesh’s 170 million people.

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Net-metered rooftop solar arrays add up to 42 MW of capacity, Hamid said.

The junior minister said: “Special emphasis is given on [the] generation of green power in the next Power Sector Master Plan,” adding that strategy would outline the government’s next zero-carbon plan.

The minister noted clean energy is also a priority in the nation’s Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan.

Climate prosperity plans (CPPs) are being prepared by the nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum of countries on the front line of the effects of rising temperatures.

The plan

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina oversaw the forum’s first CPP as part of a bid to change the narrative from stressing the vulnerability of climate-affected nations to making them climate resilient.

The nation continues to attract overseas investment in clean power with Chinese developer Guopu Energy in November 2021 proposing to invest $50 million into Bangladeshi renewables.

Bangladesh plans to generate 40% of its electricity from renewables.

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Source: pv magazine