World Bank increases support for clean, renewable energy in Bangladesh

The World Bank has approved $55 million to expand the use of clean renewable energy in rural areas of Bangladesh where grid electricity cannot reach easily.

The additional financing to the Second Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Development (RERED II) Project will install 1,000 solar irrigation pumps, 30 solar mini-grids and about 4 million improved cookstoves in rural areas, reports Modern Diplomacy

The project, including the additional financing, will enable about 10 million people living in villages, shoals and islands to access electricity and use energy efficient cookstoves. The interventions will help the country reduce carbon emissions, officials said.

The project already has built 10 solar mini-grids in remote areas, including islands and shoals to provide grid-quality electricity. The additional financing will help construct another 30 solar mini-grids that will provide about 28,000 connections to households and businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises.

The financing will also help increase use of solar irrigation pumps, a low-cost technology that is well suited to the country’s flat terrain and abundant sunshine. This switch from diesel pumps will decrease greenhouse gas emissions and save foreign exchange by reducing the government’s subsidy on diesel imports.

Since 2002, the World Bank has been helping the government expand renewable energy programs. In the energy sector, the World Bank has ongoing support of more than $1.6 billion in Bangladesh covering generation, transmission, distribution and renewable energy.

The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association, which provides grants or zero-interest loans, has a 38-year term, including a 6-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.

The World Bank has committed nearly $28 billion in grants and interest-free credits to Bangladesh. In recent years, the country has been among the largest recipients of the World Bank’s interest-free credits.


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