Lighting Up Rural Homes and Business Through Solar.

Bangladesh_solar_photovoltaic_panel_rooftop_rural_IMage_Bright_Green_Energy_FoundationBangladesh has been continuing its efforts to provide electricity in rural and remote areas of the country through renewable energy sources. Its Solar Home System program is a successful example of public-private partnership, World Bank stated on Sunday.

In a statement, the Washington-based lender said the country’s Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development II (RERED II) Project of the country has installed more than 3.5 million SHS in rural Bangladesh.

Diesel-run irrigation pumps with solar pumps will be also replaced.

The project has installed about 140 solar powered irrigation pumps and approved financing for another 300 pumps said the bank.

The solar irrigation pumps, according to the lender which is engaged with the project, are reducing farmers’ irrigation costs.

By shifting to solar power, these irrigation pumps are also helping to save foreign exchange for importing diesel and contributing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) has provided 10 million US dollars matching grant support for the solar irrigation pumps. The RERED II project is also supporting renewable energy-based mini grids in remote rural areas for electricity supply. Three mini-grids for a combined capacity of 382kWp are now operational and 5 more with a combined capacity of 652kWp are under construction. The mini-grids are expected to increase economic activities in the rural areas.

In Bangladesh, more than 28 million households still rely on traditional biomass fuel for cooking. With support from the RERED II project, the government-owned infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) has embarked upon the improved cook stoves program that will benefit rural women and children, who are exposed to indoor air pollution from the traditional stoves.

155 million US dollars was approved by the World Bank board in 2012 and an additional financing of 78.4 million US dollars in 2014.

Originally from: Xinhua News Agency

Author: Darvin Tocmo

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