Bangladesh to be solar energy nation in 10 years

"We’re moving ahead to lay out a mission: Bangladesh Solar Mission. We’ll analyse global perspective, engage experts from home and abroad, take support internationally to make Bangladesh a solar energy nation," Dipal Barua told UNB correspondent AKM Moinuddin in an interview on Friday.

He said they want to ensure solar energy in every corner of the country, engage unemployed boys and girls in business expansion process and help the country get rid of the nagging power crisis by ensuring the use of solar energy up to 51 per cent.

Dipal said they have formed a trade body, Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association, to help expand the solar energy in the country.

"If the solar energy business grows, itll create jobs and help reduce the cost of having solar energy," Dipal, also the president of the association, said.

Replying to a query, he said there are many developments in this green area. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to provide funds for generating 500 megawatt of solar energy in Bangladesh. The government is in negotiations with ADB in this area.

"It’s a big breakthrough. It’ll help increase the generation further. We’ve the God’s best gifted sunbeam," he said.

Dipal said an international conference on solar energy development will be held in Dhaka on September 20 which will help Bangladesh work out its own plan to move forward.

Replying to another question, Dipal Barua said they have set up a foundation, Bright Green Energy Foundation, in the country to help expand and popularise solar energy.

He said government support and united efforts of all will help ensure the expansion of solar energy system in the country.

Dipal further said solar energy is important as it is environment-friendly unlike nuclear power generation and all should work together in this regard.

Asked about credit facilities, he said flexible credit support is needed to make solar system popular in the country.

"But, I think the government may take various steps, including withdrawal of VAT and duty," he said.

Sharing his plan on increased solar energy generation, Dipal said, "We’re taking various steps. We just want to spread solar energy across the country. We want the expansion of this business and more job creation."

He also said they will train up girls in each village to ensure proper maintenance of solar energy system and make the business comprehensible to them.

"Currently, some 60,000 people work in the solar energy sector across the country," he said.

Dipal, who has decades of experience in the field, said the solar power system can be the best option to mitigate the nation’s worsening energy problem.

He said over 1 million solar home systems (SHSs) have been installed in the country. There is a plan to set up 7.5 million more solar panels across the country by 2015.

Referring to the environment, the expert said free source of solar energy has an excellent solution to the environmental effects of fossil fuels with residential solar panels and solar power systems.