BD, WB sign $55mn financing deal to expand renewable energy uses

30 May 2018, 15:33

NTV Online

The government of Bangladesh on Wednesday signed a $55 million financing agreement with the World Bank to expand renewable energy uses in rural areas.

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 cook stoves in rural areas, reports the UNB.

Since 2003, the World Bank has been helping Bangladesh expand solar-powered electricity in remote and rural areas, said the global lending agency.

Bangladesh has one of the world’s largest domestic solar power programs, covering 14 per cent of the population.

‘Since 2003, the World Bank has been helping Bangladesh to improve access to electricity through renewable energy. Following a successful demand-driven public-private partnership programme, Bangladesh installed 4.2 million solar home systems,’ said Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and NepalQimiao Fan.

‘This additional financing will help scale up use of clean and renewable energy such as solar irrigation pumps and solar mini-grids, which will help reduce poverty, improve the environment, create jobs, and open up new opportunities for rural people.’

With an additional $20 million support from the Green Climate Fund, the project will scale up the use of improved cook stoves, which emit 90 percent less carbon monoxide and use half as much firewood as a traditional cook stove.

The agreement was signed by Kazi Shofiqul Azam and Qimiao Fan on behalf of the government and the World Bank, respectively, at the Economic Relations Division.

The credits are from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, which provides grants or zero-interest loans. 

The credits have a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 per cent.

The World Bank has committed more than $28 billion in grants and interest-free credits to the country, said the global lending agency.