Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bangladeshi ventures aim to build solar PV industry

Stories appearing in the Bangladeshi media indicate that plans are afoot to create a capacity for solar panel manufacture in the country over coming years. Companies are vying with each other for a share of the action.

Two of the Ashden Award's previous award-winners - Grameen Shakti and Rahimafrooz - are key players in rolling out solar power in Bangladesh and are mentioned in the plans.

The Financial Express article "Bangladesh-US venture to build country's first solar plant" says the move by Star Group to build a solar plant comes as solar power makes inroads in a vast swathe of rural areas left untouched by the national electricity grid, achievements that Grameen Shakti has played a large part in, backed by soft-loan refinancing schemes by IDCOL.

In the article, the MD of Rahimafrooz, which sells batteries to the charities, said the plant would speed up the growth of solar systems in the country. He said Rahimafrooz is also pursuing its own plan to build a photovoltaic panel factory, as he sees Bangladesh emerging as a top solar-powered nation within a few years.

"Solar power systems are changing the face of rural Bangladesh. And it would be a billion dollar industry within a few years," he said.

The article in The Daily Star focuses on IDCOL's plan to establish solar plants, in collaboration with partners such as Grameen Shakti. They currently import panels from India and China.

More info:
Financial Express Bangladesh
Daily Star article
Daily Star opinion on sustainable energy

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