Government has set up the goal of providing electricity to all by 2020 and to ensure reliable and quality supply of electricity at a reasonable and affordable price. Sustainable social and economic development depends on adequate power generation capacity of a country. There is no other way for accelerating development except to increase the power generation by fuel diversification. Development of Renewable Energy is one of the important strategies adopted as part of Fuel Diversification Program. In line with the Renewable Energy policy 2009, the Government is committed to facilitate both public and private sector investment in Renewable Energy projects to substitute indigenous non- renewable energy supplies and scale up contributions of existing Renewable Energy based electricity productions. The Renewable Energy Policy envisions that 5% of total energy production will have to be achieved by 2015 and 10% by 2020. To achieve this target, GOB is looking for various options preferably Renewable Energy resources. Under the existing generation scenario of Bangladesh, Renewable Energy has a very small share to the total generation. The share of Renewable Energy exceeds more than 1% till now. The present Government is placing priority on developing Renewable Energy resources to improve energy security and to establish a sustainable energy regime alongside of conventional energy sources. Government has already launched “500 MW Solar Power Mission” to promote the use of Renewable Energy to meet the increasing demand of electricity.


Overview of Solar potential in Bangladesh

  • Average solar radiation in Bangladesh is about 4.5 kWh/m2/day . Average peak sunshine hours perday is 4.5 h, and the annual operational days is more or less 340days.
  • Urban areas as well as un-electrified areas are deploying solar based plants for generating energyin grid connected or off-gridmode.
  • Crystallinesiliconandthinfilmtechnologiesareusedforsolarpowergenerationglobally,currenttrendusageis:
    –Crystalline silicon based: 70 to 80% ofprojects.
    –Thin film based: 20 to 30% of projects.
  • Typically, 3.5-4 acres per MW of land is required for setting up utility scale solar plant.
  • Generally, projects take 10-12 months from award of contract to commissioning.

Overview of Solar potential and development plan

In a recent study for Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SREP), following potential has been identified:

Admin Division Case(MW)
Barisal 14
Chittagong 1050
Dhaka 18
Khulna 50
Rajshahi 0
Rangpur 2
Sylhet 274
Total 1408

GoB has set a target for development of 1211 MW of solar power plants till 2021 with support from development partners and by facilitating private investments.

Govt. in govt. land 23% Utility target:
• BPDB-100 MW,
• EGCB-100MW,
• RPCL-50MW,
IPP in govt. Land 28%
Private in private land 50%
Break-up of planned potential

Sustainability Aspects

  • Solar power is one of the cleanest and sustainable sources of electricity generation.
  • Considering the scarcity of barren land in Bangladesh, solar generating stations will have impact on
    the locals and will have Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R) related concerns.
  • Utility scale plants can lead to loss in habitat, degradation of land, affect vegetation, etc.
  • Concentrating solar parks can impact operations of aircraft, depletion of ground water, etc.
  • Solar manufacturing facilities create environmental and social concerns. Solar system has minimal impact on environment;
    whereas social concerns may be addressed by planning solar panel in transportation system (rail), water canals/bodies, etc.

Overview of wind generation potential

  • Bangladesh falls under low to medium wind regime in terms of potential for electricity generation.
  • Complete wind resources assessment is not available to identify the potential; some studies are currently on-going to collect the wind data, which would be able to determine the wind resource potential.
  • Some studies evaluate that in Bangladesh installationof 4,000 MW of wind power is technically feasible.
  • Currently two wind projects namely 900kW in Feni and 1MW wind battery hybrid project in Kutubdia Island are operating.
  • Regenpowertech India has completed wind mapping of Feni and Mognamaghat and mapping of another3 sites (Anawara,Rajapalang & Chilimari) is under process at 30, 55 and 80 MTrs. A15MW Wind and 3 MW Solar hybrid power plant has beenproposed by Regent Power Tech at Feni.
  • NREL, USA has also undertaken wind mapping of 9 sites at 70-80MTr (USAID funding); to be completed by 2017.
  • Wind mapping is going on for a 60 MW wind power plant at CoxBazar.
  • We understand that most of the area has wind power density lessthan 200 W/sq. m which will require low wind speed turbine forbetter generation.
  • The height of the towers also needs to be increased to 120 meter to expose the turbine to a higher and steady wind (for 1.6 – 2MW capacity of units).
  • Appropriate technology selection is only possiblebased on the wind mapping data.
  • Typical project development timeline for a 20-30 MW wind farm is 3 years (including wind mapping  and construction time)
  • Grid integration poses challenges; hybrid models arepreferred (e.g. wind-bio mass, wind-gas, etc.)
  • Typically, 2-2.5 acres per tower of area is required.

Review of Wind power generation based on option assessment framework

In a recent study of Scaling up Renewable Energy (SREP), twocases were developed showing the resource potential when flood prone land is excluded (Case 1) and when it is included (Case 2):

Buildable MW as per SREP study:
20-25% Capacity Factor 25-30% Capacity Factor
Case1 624 MW 13 MW
Case2 996MW 37 MW
Wind power generation is an intermittent source and cannot provide power to base load and critical load.

Review of Wind power generation based on option assessment framework

Gob’s Target:

  • Gob’s has set a target for development of 1320 MW of wind power plants in current 5 year plan with support from development partners.
  • Target of 100 MW each for development of wind power plant by BPDB, APSCL, EGCB, NWPGCL, RPCL and CPGCBL.
Govt. in govt. land 45%
IPP in govt. land 25%
Private in private land 31%
Break-up of plannedpotential

Sustainability Aspects

  • Wind firms generates electricity with no greenhouse emission.
  • Destruction of useful land is minimal and only footingarea gets permanently used, other areas can be utilized
  • Off-shore wind plants may hamper ecosystem and habitat of marine wildlife
  • Collisions of birds and bats, displacement of natural habitats are some of the other concerns
  • Locals population are often concerned with issues like noise, shadow flickers due to turbine movement, degradation of visual impact of the areas by the wind plants, etc.

Review of Wind power generation based on option assessment framework

  • Intermittent nature of wind at times cannot maintain load generation balance affecting the system stability. Site specific wind resource data collection provides certainty to the developer. Turbulence in wind and even a loss in wind speed can affect the moving components
  • Generally, failure of key components like drive, generator can cause plant shutdown up to a week’s period in a year. However, highly reliable equipment’s/technologies are available for monitoring maintenance requirement
  • Wind turbines generally loses 1.6± 0.2% of their output every year reducing a wind farm output by12% over a 20 year life time
  • In case of line tripping, emergency outage due to fault, system experiences heavy current flow or voltage dip which can cause electrical & mechanical stress for the turbine components.
Components Shutdown duration per failure (days) Frequency of failure (yearly)
Blades 6 0.2
Axle 6 0.15
Drive 8 0.11
Generator 9 0.12
Load bearing  parts 5 0.1
Drivetrain 8 0.08
Mechanical  brake 5 0.15

Biomass, Biogas and Waste-to-Energy

Bangladesh has plans for developing Biomass, Biogas and Waste-to- Energy based electricity generating plants


  • Rice husk is viewed as a viable feedstock option while other feeding options are limited.
  • More than 10 million tons rice husk are produced annually in the country, of which only 10% are located at large commercial rice operations which can feed to biomass plants.
  • Ongoing developments:

– Two rice husk based plants of capacity 250 kW (off-grid) and 400kW are proposed in Kapasiaupazlia and Thakurgaon.
– 1 MW combined heat and power plant (430kW power& rest heat) will be developed at  Keraniganj, Dhaka based on modular type dry fermentation technology.
– Currently ~40 biogas fired engines are operating in Bangladesh.

Source: SREP study


  • Poultry, cattle and cow manure is considered a possible options.
  • Two Biogas based plants of 400 kW and 50 kW are in operations and four more plants of 25 to 100 kWis under construction
  • Poultry and dairy farms have installed total 1,200 kW of small to medium engine biogas fueled generators (5 kW to 50 kW) under GIZ funding

Waste to Energy

  • 13,383 tons of solid waste is produced daily in thecountry with highest production in Dhaka.
  • BPDB in consultation with SREDA intends to start a 1 MW pilot waste-to-energy project.
  • Plans to form a company (by the city corporations, municipalities and power utilities) with the objective of improved waste management & generation of electricity from waste.

Technological aspects

  • Various technologies have been developed like gasification, dry fermentation, wet fermentation or incineration of waste or preparation of refused derived fuel to generate energy.
  • Dry fermentation technology will be one of option considering the organic nature and high moisture content of the waste.
  • Gasification is a mature technology and a 250kW rice husk based gasifier plant was installed in 2007 in Kapasia Bangladesh having 75%efficiency.

Implementation aspects

  • Typical project development timeline for a biomass plant is 18 months and waste to energy plant is 24 months.
  • Waste management along with segregation and supply of waste &biomass are the key areas of concern.

Review of Biomass, Biogas and Waste-to-Energy based on option assessment framework


  • Potential Capacity: 274 MW


  • Commercial Cattle & Buffalo: 1.3 MW
  • Commercial Fowl & Duck: 8.1 MW


  • Potential Capacity : 170 MW*
  • 40-60% of wastes are not properly disposed collected which increases the chance of not havingsufficient availability of fuel.
  • Reliability of biomass and municipal based power generation mainly faces three broad issues in terms storage of raw materials, transportation of raw material and separation of waste.
  • Efficient segregation of organic and inorganic waswill be needed at the source or the generation site depending on the technology e.g. dry fermentation needs separation of organic & inorganic waste.

Review of Biomass, Biogas and Waste-to-Energy based on option assessment framework

  • Lack of sufficient transport system to deliver adequate amount of waste from disposal sites can cause underutilization of the plantefficiency and generation potential from MSW.
  • More efficient waste management initiatives bneeds to be taken by Dhaka City Corporation and Local Government Engineering Department to generate waste from energy.
  • Clean technologies, with minimal impact on environment.
  • Burning municipal solid waste generates energy and also reduces waste volume by upto 90%, leading to an environmental benefit.
  • Key challenges:

-Waste-to-Energy plants can be planned in the urban areas, but availability of land is achallenge.

-Production of methane gas in the biogas plant can impact ozone layer.

-Biomass unpleasant for humans and can attractpets, spread bacteria or infection.

-Transportation of manure, biomass, and waste has noise and emission impact.

-Incineration of waste leads to emission of harmful gases like CO2, SO2, nitrogenoxides, etc.

-Toxic materials contain trace metals like lead, cadmium and mercury present in the waste pose some environmental threat ifthey are released in to the air or dispersed in the ground.


City Waste transported (tons/day) Waste generated (tons/day)
Dhaka 2000-2400 5000–5500
Chittagong 500-550 2000
Khulna 240-260 420–520
Rajshahi 60-80 160–210
Barisal 30-40 100–140
Sylhet 60-80 200–240
Source: Chinese journal of engineering-Assessment of Municipal Solid Waste  Management System in a Developing Country