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With solar farms and roof panels, Bangladesh inches toward green power goal
Bangladesh’s electricity generation from renewable sources has passed the 5 percent mark with the opening of a major new solar plant - boosting hopes the country might meet its goal of getting 10 percent of power from renewables by 2020, experts say. The new 28 megawatt solar power plant in Cox’s Bazar District is the largest yet opened in the country, following the earlier construction of a 3 MW plant. The solar plants come on top of the widespread use of solar home systems in the low-lying country, considered one of those most vulnerable to climate change impacts. Currently about 5.2 million small-scale solar home systems provide electricity to almost 12 percent of Bangladesh’s 160 million people, Dipal C. Barua, president of the Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He called the new plant “good news” for the country, saying the accelerating construction of solar power facilities “will build confidence among future investors”. The new 116-acre solar park will supply enough electricity to meet about 80 percent of power demand in the Teknaf sub-district where it is located, said Mahmudul Hasan, chief financial officer for Joules Power Ltd. That area has about 300,000 power users, though little in the way of industrial or large commercial users, he said. Nuher Latif Khan, managing director of Technaf Solartech Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of Joules Power that owns the plant, said the plant had begun operations ahead of schedule. In Bangladesh, “the future of solar power is very fantastic,” he said, noting that company “definitely” planned to invest more in renewable energy, including potentially wind power. Khan said the solar park can produce up to 28 MW of solar electricity at peak capacity and has contracted to provide 20 MW to the government grid. Barua said several other large solar plants are in the pipeline in Bangladesh, after receiving government approval, with a few at advanced stages of construction. MORE COST - THEN LESS While solar plants need a large amount of initial investment to set up, he said, they have very small operational costs afterward, unlike plants that need ongoing sources of coal or other fossil fuels. The government has supported the construction of rooftop solar plants on factories and other commercial buildings, he said, with some facilities on large plants expected to generate a megawatt or more each. With such solar plants, thousands of factories in Bangladesh should be able to meet their own electricity needs, and contribute surplus power to the national grid. “I think one day we will see every building has a rooftop solar power system,” Barua said. However, finding available land to set up ground-level solar plants is a major challenge in densely populated Bangladesh, he admitted. Sheikh Reaz Ahmed, director of the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), said the country’s 2008 renewable energy policy calls for generating 10 percent of electricity from renewables by 2020. With the country expected to generate 20,000 MW of electricity in total by the date, renewables would have to reach 2,000 MW to hit that target, he said. So far Bangladesh generates just over 530 MW from renewables, nearly half of that from hydropower plants, he said. But the country is set to put online another 600 MW of renewable power in 2019 alone, he said, with another 1,100 MW rolled out in 2020 and 2021. Altogether, plants now in the pipeline should bring the country’s renewable energy generating capacity to 2,235 MW by 2021, Ahmed said. Not all the construction is progressing smoothly, however, with some plants tied up in problems with land acquisition and other issues, he said. Meanwhile, energy generation from fossil fuels also is rising to meet soaring demand for energy in Bangladesh, he said. Last year, Bangladesh’s cabinet committee on public procurement approved a proposal to construct 10 new oil-fired power plants, capable of generating 1,800 MW of electricity. In January, construction also began on a 1,200 MW coal-fired power plant in Cox’s Bazar, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency. That means boosting Bangladesh’s percentage of renewable energy above 10 percent won’t be easy, because “each year total power generation from traditional sources will go up” too, Ahmed noted.  
IDCOL extends Tk 694m term loan facility to Sympa Solar Power
October 16, 2018 Tuesday 8:40 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
A term loan facility agreement for Tk 694m was signed between Sympa Solar Power Limited (SSPL) and state-owned financial institution Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) on October 15, 2018 at IDCOL head office to set up an 8 MW (AC) utility scale solar power plant at Tetulia in Panchagar. SSPL is a joint venture company between Paragon Group and Symbior Solar Siam Ltd. SSPL has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to sell generated electricity from the project for a term of 20 years to BPDB, said a press release. The tariff of the project will be US$ 0.13 per kWh. IDCOL is providing the required financing as term loan for a term of 15 years at 7 percent interest rate with 2 years of grace period. The Chief Executive Officer of IDCOL, Mahmood Malik and the Managing Director of SSPL, Florian Bennhold signed the term loan facility agreement on behalf of their organizations. Additional Secretary of Power Division, Rahamat Ullah Mohd Dastagir, Joint Secretary of Power Division, Mohammad Alauddin, Managing Director of Paragon Group Moshiur Rahman, Deputy CEO of IDCOL SM Monirul Islam and Head of Renewable Energy of IDCOL Enamul Karim Pavel graced the occasion with their presence.   
Category: Renewable
13,000 ‘char’ villagers come under solar power network
September 4, 2018 Tuesday 7:56 PM By BSS
Solar power has brought a social change in many hard-to-reach villages under Char Ashariadaha union council under Godagari upazila of the district. Although having the problems of food and healthcare services the villages have become enlightened with uninterrupted electricity generated from solar panel. The power also brings many positive changes to living and livelihood condition of the villagers in many ways. Talking to the news agency, solar power user Rahmat Ali of Char Bhubanpara said he could not even think about electricity an era ago though it has become a reality as the villagers there can avail of this facility. Union council Chairman Md Sanaullah said around 30,000 people live in the villages and 13,000 of them in six villages got the power supply connections. The beneficiary villages are: Ashariadaha, Panipar, Bhubanpara, Kanpara, Hanumantanagar and Nawshera. He said the char villagers and owners of the solar power units neither suffer from low-voltage nor load shedding and some of them are crushing paddy at nights using electricity from solar plants. "The char people are watching television programmes to become aware of drugs, child marriage, malnutrition and dowry and using fans, bulbs and refrigerators, charging mobile phone sets, operating computers and doing other daily jobs," Sanaullah added. Housewives Monwara Begum of village Char Nawshera and Anjuara Khaatun of Char Hanumantanagar said they are getting uninterrupted supply of power using solar technology. AVA Mini Grid Project commissioned 594 pieces of solar panels with financial initiative of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) providing power supply to six villages, scattered from the main land by the Padma River. "We have started the solar panel and supply line installation works with an estimated cost of around Tk 100 million on November 6, 2015," said Engineer Millat Hossain, plant manager of the project. At present, the panels are generating 148.5 kilowatts electricity and the villages are getting power through the distribution line. Engineer Hossain said the villagers are enjoying the power supply facilities through prepaid card system and they are happy. Union council chairman Sanaullah said IDCOL has brought solar home systems to his villagers. The small solar panels provide enough electricity to charge a phone, run a fan, turn on a light or a TV for the evening hours. Often, in fact, these solar panels perform better than the country`s electric grid, despite their shortcomings. He added that the ability of households to earn an income from their solar systems through the nanogrid opens up innovative business possibilities. For instance, households could reinvest their profits from solar energy trading to upgrade their solar technology to generate even more electricity and thus, profit. Overnight, simple solar users are turned into smart entrepreneurs earning money real-time once their solar systems start producing a surplus of solar electricity.
Category: Renewable
Nepal-Bangladesh to sign energy cooperation pact
August 2, 2018 Thursday 4:18 PM By The Kathmandu Post
After signing an energy cooperation agreement with China last month, the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation is preparing to conclude a similar pact with Bangladesh. Bangladeshi State Minister of Power Nasrul Hamid is scheduled to make a three-day visit to Nepal starting August 9 to sign the deal. Highly placed ministry sources said a memorandum of understanding would be signed to form a high-level mechanism to oversee electricity trade between the two countries and facilitate Bangladeshi investment in hydropower projects in Nepal. “It has been some time since a high-level discussion was held between the two countries regarding energy trade and investment,” said the source. “If the joint mechanism is formed, it will be a wonderful platform to turn the discussion into reality.” According to the ministry source, both countries have agreed to establish secretary and joint secretary-level mechanisms like the ones Nepal has formed with India. The agreement with Bangladesh will pave the way to export surplus electricity that Nepal is expected to produce within a few years. Bangladesh has repeatedly shown interest in importing power from Nepal via India, and has raised the issue at the meetings of the sub-regional BBIN (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal) Initiative which was signed by the four countries to facilitate regional trade and business. Bangladesh has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) to import electricity generated by the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project being developed in Nepal by India. As per the understanding, it will import 300-500 MW of energy from the project being executed by an Indian developer.  Apart from signing the memorandum of understanding, the two parties will explore ways to encourage Bangladeshi investments in several hydropower projects in Nepal during the minister’s visit to Nepal. Bangladesh has also shown interest in making investments in hydropower projects in Nepal. Bangladesh first expressed interest in putting money in hydropower during the ninth South Asia Economic Summit it hosted in Dhaka last October. The then commerce minister Romi Gauchan Thakali and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail Ahmed signed an agreement on the sidelines of the event to build two hydroelectric plants capable of generating over 1,600 MW of electricity in Nepal. The proposed projects are the 1,110 MW Sunkoshi II and 536 MW Sunkoshi III on the Sunkoshi River in central Nepal. Both countries have agreed to develop the projects under the BBIN Initiative. As per the agreement, the energy produced by the Sunkoshi projects will be evacuated to Bangladesh via India through the BBIN economic corridor. However, no headway was made on this front.    
Category: Renewable
Power utilities to buy solar power from consumers
July 28, 2018 Saturday 8:43 PM By UNB
Power utilities will buy solar power from consumers under net metering system. Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus announced this on Saturday at a function organised by the Power Division to unveil the newly framed “Net Metering Guideline 2018” in order to buy rooftop solar from the consumers. The function was also addressed by Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid. The power secretary said each of the distribution companies must buy solar power from at least 20 consumers. It will be treated as a key target under their annual performance agreement (APA) signed with the ministry. “Don’t take it lightly. You must have to sign contract with 20 consumers for buying solar power within next three months”, Dr. Ahmed Kaikaus told the top executives of different power distribution companies. Under the proposed system, any consumer can set up rooftop solar system covering upto 70 percent capacity of the sanctioned load and sell the additional or unconsumed solar power after meeting his/her demand through an exchange arrangement by a special meter. The idea is that the consumers will use their own solar power alongside the grid. But on holidays when solar power is not used, the consumers can sell it to the national grid. Power Cell Director Md Abdur Rouf made a presentation on the issue explaining the billing system and consumers’ benefits. He also informed that there is no lower limit of a consumer’s solar capacity. But the upper limit of the capacity is three megawatt. Addressing the function Dr Tawfiq Elahi said this will create a huge opportunity for the consumers to use their own electricity from solar power and sell unconsumed power to the utilities. He said the industrial consumers will get the best benefit of it as they can be able to sell their unconsumed electricity of the holidays to the national grid. Nasrul Hamid said the new system will boost the green energy production in the country and rooftop of industries and other large buildings will get a good chance to utilise them for solar power generation. Officials said the government has initiated the move to introduce the net metering system aiming to promote rooftop solar energy across the country as part of its plan to generate 3,168 MW power from renewable energy sources by 2021 in compliance with UN-set Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Category: Renewable
Nepal plans to sign deal to export power in Bangladesh
April 17, 2018 Tuesday 10:32 AM By The Himalayan Times
The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation is preparing to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bangladesh to strengthen energy cooperation between the two countries. Nepal and Bangladesh have been talking on bilateral energy cooperation since the power trade agreement (PTA) was signed with India in 2014. Nepal has identified Bangladesh as a prospective market for hydroelectricity, which is a clean and renewable source of energy. Following the SAARC member states agreement on ‘SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity)’ in November 2014, Nepal and Bangladesh have seen the prospects of bilateral power cooperation. Recently, Energy Minister Barshaman Pun also said that the government is preparing to sign an MoU on energy cooperation with Bangladesh through which the country can lure investment from Bangladesh to exploit Nepal’s hydro resources. However, to materialise power trade between the two nations, Nepal and Bangladesh need to hold talks with India. As there is power trade between Nepal and India, and also Bangladesh and India, power trade between Nepal and Bangladesh is not a far-fetched notion, according to Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal, Mashfee Binte Shams. Ambassador Shams said that both countries are preparing to sign an MoU on energy cooperation and they can enter into a power trade agreement, which is a more specific document. However, trilateral consensus is must for the PTA to be signed. There is prospect of energy trade between Nepal and Bangladesh as GMR Energy India has signed MoU to sell power produced from Upper Karnali Hydropower Project, which is going to be developed under Indian investment to Bangladesh. For this purpose, an initial MoU regarding connection agreement has already been signed with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) during the visit of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in April last year. Bangladesh’s current electricity generation stands at around 16,000 megawatts and it will require around 34,000 megawatts of power by 2030 to sustain the high economic growth of above seven per cent. As participating nations have envisioned providing access to sustainable, clean and affordable energy to their citizens by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals, Bangladesh has taken Nepal’s hydroelectricity as a reliable source for the rising demand of clean and reliable energy, as per Ambassador Shams.  Energy consumption is relatively low in South Asia as per capita energy consumption stands at 650 kilowatt hours (units) compared to global average energy consumption of 3000 kilowatt hours.  
Category: Renewable
90 MW power can be generated from city’s waste daily: Nasrul
March 22, 2018 Thursday 7:04 AM By BSS
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Wednesday said over 90 MW electricity can be generated daily from the waste piled up every day in city corporation areas. “We have to manage waste properly to make the city environment-friendly and through using waste the country can get more than 90 MW electricity daily,” he said while witnessing a memorandum of understanding signing ceremony as the chief guest at Byduit Bhaban here. Nasrul said about 9,000 tonnes of waste is being produced in Dhaka city every day. It is possible to generate one-megawatt electricity from 80-100 tonnes of waste and accordingly 90 MW electricity can be generated from the waste of city corporation areas, he added. Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) signed the MoU to produce electricity from waste. Secretary of BPDB Mina Masud-us-Zaman and Chief Executive Officer of NCC ASM Ahtasamul Haque signed the MoU on behalf of their respective side.  Among others, Narayanganj City Corporation Mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy, Power Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus and BPDB Chairman Engineer Khaled Mahmood spoke on the occasion.
Category: Renewable
Debonair to buy power from MegaRoof’s solar project
February 27, 2018 Tuesday 10:16 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Local Debonair Padding and Quilting Solution Ltd (DPQSL) signed a long term power purchase agreement (PPA) with MegaRoof Ltd on Tuesday, for a large-scale rooftop based solar plant to be set up at Valuka in Mymensinghon its factory rooftop. Solaric, renewable energy research and development company, will install the 324 kilowatt-peak (KWp) grid tied solar project on the rooftop of Debonair’s factory which is a metallic roof with a roof space of 40,000 sft. The company aims at implementing the project in three months from the date of deal signing. MegaRoof Ltd, established and solely owned by Solaric, is the country’s first and only renewable energy service company (RESCO), will be responsible for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the system for 20 years under a separate O&M contract signed between the parties. This is the first commercial power purchase deal through a solar plant and a milestone for rooftop solar applications in Bangladesh at the privates sector in particular. Mohammed Ayub Khan, managing director of DPQSL and Didar Islam, managing director of MegaRoof Ltd, signed the agreement on respective sides’ behalf at Solaric’s head office in Baridhara, Dhaka. Fahmida Sultana, director of Solaric, Nasir Uddin Ahmed, director of MegaRoof, Farzana Rahman, senior vice-president and head (investment) of renewable energy of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), Mir Suman Hussain, manager (business development) and Shahan Ahmed, manager (marketing) of Solaric, among others, addressed the signing ceremony. The estimated total cost of the project is Tk2.50crore, of which IDCOL, a government owned non-bank financial institution, will provide 80% as soft loan (10 years tenure) and Solaric will provide 20% as equity. The financier of the project, IDCOL, has taken front stage in Bangladesh to help finance the dissemination of solar projects in the country. They have already distributed over five million solar home systems around Bangladesh and now, newly add industrial solar rooftop to their portfolio.  Under the agreement, the DPQSL will purchase electricity from MegaRoof’s plant at a cost that is 5% less than national grid connected Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) tariff during the PPA tenure and enjoy free electricity after the expiry of the PPA term. Didar Islam, is also managing director of Solaric said that the product which Solaric calls MegaRoof, is an industrial solar rooftop system that generates large scale electricity from solar energy for the consumption of large factories and machineries, saving electric bill and helps companies ‘go-green”.  The system is designed to operate seamlessly with the government grid system and captive generators.  Priority is given to solar as the first level of energy to be consumed to ensure clients save significantly on their monthly electric bill, he said. Solaric developed the special zero export controller (ZEC) which ensures that the system operates safely without any back-flow of power to the grid or generator especially during holidays and periods of low consumption, he added. “There are many idle rooftops available in the country which can be used to produce 500 MW of power.  There is a huge market to be filled in this sector and has caught the eyes of companies like Solaric who are able to make rooftop solar technology feasible for commercial use,” Didar said. We hope to make a positive change to Bangladesh’s current power circumstances and help decrease its carbon footprint, he also added. With the threat of global warming and rising sea levels, it is not only a necessity, but also is an obligation for us to make the transition to solar and other renewables as a source of energy.  Debonair, being the visionary, has taken initiative to be the first commercial group to sign a PPA agreement which they hope to start a new trend in Bangladesh and is hoping to influence many other groups to follow.    After the PPA term has expired, Debonair will assume full ownership of the system where they will then enjoy free electricity for the rest of the plant life which estimated at 20 years.  The teams of each respective group expressed their commitment and determination to see through the success of the project and their commitment of doing many more ventures together.  
Category: Renewable
President to attend Int’l Solar Alliance Summit in Delhi Mar 11
February 27, 2018 Tuesday 8:29 AM By UNB
President Abdul Hamid is scheduled to visit India on March 8 to attend the mega inaugural session of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit in Delhi on March 11. “The main purpose of his visit is to attend the Summit,” an official told UNB mentioning that he will visit other places, too. The President will visit Meghalaya, an Indian state on March 8 and 9 before going to New Delhi on March 10, the official said. India is now preparing to host the Summit in Delhi with the presence of over a dozen of leaders, including ones from Asia, Pacific and South America, demonstrating India’s leadership in providing affordable renewable energy. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emanuel Macron, apart from other heads of state and heads of government from countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Ghana, Gabon, Australia, Venezuela, Fiji, Mauritius will join the Summit, diplomatic sources said. Bangladesh formally joined the ISA through signing up the Framework Agreement on ISA in 2016. It has already reiterated the firm commitment towards further promoting renewable energy, more particularly solar energy. With the joining of it, the ISA widened the opportunities for Bangladesh to collaborate with other member of this Alliance in the areas of solar technology, finance, research, innovation and development as well as capacity building, foreign ministry officials said. ISA is a global platform for cooperation among solar-rich countries, which was launched at the Climate Summit in Paris on 30 November 2015.
Category: Renewable
BPDB signs 200 MW solar power purchase agreement with Beximco
October 26, 2017 Thursday 10:19 PM By Staff Correspondent, energynewsbd.com
Teesta Solar Limited, a joint venture of Beximco Power Company Ltd, Bangladesh and TBEA Xinjiang Sunoasis Co Ltd, China, on Thursday signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to develop a 200 MW (AC) Solar PV Power Plant in Sundarganj, Gaibandha. BPDB secretary Mina Masud Uzzaman and Managing Director of Teesta Solar Limited M Rafiqul Islam signed the Power Purchase Agreement, while Sheikh Faezul Amin, joint secretary of power division and M Ashraf Hossain, company secretary of Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) signed the Implementation Agreement on behalf of their respective sides at the Bidyut Bhaban in Dhaka. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid witnessed the contract signing ceremony as the chief guest and said that the government with a view to fulfilling its target of raising the ratio of renewable energy to 10 percent of the total power generation by 2021 has already undertaken various initiatives. Nasrul, however, expressed his frustration that although many companies signed deals to set up solar power plants, their plants did not come into operation. According to the agreement, Teesta Solar Limited would construct a 200-MW Sundarganj Solar Power Plant at Latshal, Sundorgonj in Gaibandha within 18 months. BPDB will buy electricity from the plant at a tariff rate of US 15 cents for 20 years on `no electricity no payment method.` The function was also addressed by Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmed Kaikaus, BPDB Chairman Khaled mahmood, Beximco Group Chairman Sohel F Rahman while its Vice-chairman Salman F Rahman was present.
Category: Renewable
1 MW waste-to-energy power plant in 30 months
October 15, 2017 Sunday 7:38 AM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid has said a 1 MW capacity waste-to-energy power project will be implemented in Keraniganj upazila within the next 30 months to generate electricity from garbage. He mentioned that if Keraniganj waste-to-energy project becomes successful, more projects will be undertaken to generate electricity from garbage in different upazilas across the country. He made the announcement while inaugurating a 33/11 kV substation and multi-storied office building of Dhaka Palli Bidyut Samity-4 at Jheelmil-1 Housing Project in Keraniganj on October 13. Rural Electrification Board (REB) has installed the substation through its Dhaka Palli Bidyut Samity-4. The State Minister also laid the foundation of different substations with similar capacity at Jheelmil-2 project, Konakhola, Chargalgalia and Washpur. Being an MP from Keraniganj, Nasrul Hamid noted that a master plan is being adopted to develop the suburb as a modern locality.        He said it will reduce population pressure on Dhaka city if all modern amenities are ensured for people of the Keraniganj upazila. With senior general manager of Palli Bidyut Samity-4 Rabiul Islam in the chair, the function was also addressed by REB Chairman Major General Moin Uddin and Keraniganj upazila chairman Shahin Ahmed.
Category: Renewable
Trade panel: Cheap imports hurt US solar industry
September 24, 2017 Sunday 11:07 AM By AP/UNB
Low-cost solar panels imported from China and other countries have caused serious injury to American manufacturers, a U.S. trade commission ruled Friday, raising the possibility of the Trump administration imposing tariffs that could double the price of solar panels from abroad. The 4-0 vote by the International Trade Commission sets up a two-month review period in which the panel must recommend a remedy to President Donald Trump, with a final decision on tariffs expected in January. White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said Trump "will examine the facts and make a determination that reflects the best interests of the United States. The U.S. solar manufacturing sector contributes to our energy security and economic prosperity." Georgia-based Suniva Inc. and Oregon-based SolarWorld Americas brought the case, saying a flood of imports have pushed them to the brink of extinction. Suniva declared bankruptcy, while SolarWorld had to lay off three-quarters of its workforce. Cheap imports have led to a boom in the U.S. solar industry, where rooftop and other installations have surged tenfold since 2011. The main trade group for the solar industry and many governors oppose tariffs, saying they could cause a sharp price hike that would lead to a drop in solar installations by more than 50 percent in two years. Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, called the trade commission`s vote disappointing for nearly 9,000 U.S. solar companies and the 260,000 Americans they employ. "Foreign-owned companies that brought business failures on themselves are attempting to exploit American trade laws to gain a bailout for their bad investments," Hopper said, warning that potential tariffs could double the price of solar installations, lowering U.S. demand and risking billions of dollars in investment. Suniva`s U.S. operations are based in Georgia, but the company`s majority owner is in China. SolarWorld Americas is a subsidiary of German solar giant SolarWorld, which declared insolvency last month. Suniva hailed the ruling.     "It will be in President Trump`s hands to decide whether America will continue to have the capability to manufacture this energy source," the company said in a statement. "President Trump can remedy this injury with relief that ensures U.S. energy dominance that includes a healthy U.S. solar ecosystem and prevents China and its proxies from owning the sun." Trump has not cozied up to the solar industry, as he has for coal and other fossil fuels, but he is considered sympathetic to imposing tariffs on solar imports as part of his "America first" agenda. Governors of four solar-friendly states — Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts and North Carolina — oppose the tariff, warning it could jeopardize the industry. They cited a study showing that a global tariff could cause solar installations to drop by more than 50 percent in two years, a crushing blow as states push for renewable energy that does not contribute to climate change. "The requested tariff could inflict a devastating blow on our states` solar industries and lead to unprecedented job loss, at steep cost to our states` economies," the two Republicans and two Democrats wrote in a letter Thursday to the trade commission. A group of former U.S. military officials also urged the Trump administration to reject solar tariffs, noting that the Defense Department is the nation`s largest energy consumer and follows a federal law calling for the Pentagon to procure 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Suniva called the case a matter of fairness. Even with better manufacturing methods, lower costs and "dramatically improved efficiency," the company has "suffered substantial losses due to global imports," Suniva said in its petition. The company declared bankruptcy this spring after laying off 190 employees and closing production sites in Georgia and Michigan. SolarWorld Americas, meanwhile, has trimmed its workforce from 1,300 to 300, with more cuts likely. "After nearly 30 factories have shut down in the wake of surging imports, the legacy of this pioneering American industry hangs in the balance," said Juergen Stein, CEO and president of SolarWorld Americas. "We believe that the promise of solar - energy sustainability and independence - can be realized only with healthy American manufacturing to supply growing U.S. demand," Stein said in a statement to The Associated Press. Hopper countered that a tariff would likely decrease the number of U.S. manufacturers, because of reduced demand. While the U.S. solar industry employs about 260,000 people, fewer than 2,000 are involved in making solar panels like those made by Suniva and SolarWorld. More than half of solar jobs are in installation, with another 66,000 in sales, distribution and development. About 38,000 jobs involve manufacture of inverters, racks and other products related to solar panels. Hopper told reporters she was optimistic that Trump would not impose tariffs on solar imports. The president wants to create jobs and increase energy security and economic prosperity, and that is the story of the solar industry," she said. "I think that is entirely resonant with his rhetoric and his concern."
Category: Renewable
BPDB signs deal with Intraco to buy 30MW solar electricity
August 27, 2017 Sunday 11:42 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) on Sunday with local privately owned Intraco Solar Power Limited to buy electricity from its 30 MW grid-tied solar power plant. Secretary of BPDB Mina Masud-uz-Zaman and Managing Director of Intraco Solar Power Limited Mohammed Riyadh Ali signed the PPA on behalf of their respective sides. The company would supply electricity to the national grid within 13 months from the date of signing the agreement and start commercial operation of the plant in September 2018. The plant Rangpur Gangachara 30-MW (AC) Grid Tied Solar Power Plant will be set up about 17-km away from Rangpur city. Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) will fund the project and the tariff of per kilowatt electricity of the project was fixed at 16 US cents which is equivalent to Tk 12.80. However, the government will buy electricity from the plant on ‘No electricity, No Payment’ basis meaning that the company will only get payment once it sells electricity. Intraco also signed an implementation agreement (IA) with the Power Division for the project as part of government`s move to increase the ratio of renewable energy in the country. Speaking at the contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban in Dhaka, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said incentives to promote renewable energy would continue, as the government is trying to increase production and use of the green and clean energy comparatively at higher prices. The state minister expressed his frustration over the delay in implementation of some other solar power projects. Intraco managing director Riyadh Ali said his company has purchased 143.3 acres of land in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur for the project.          The function was addressed, among others, by Power Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and BPDB chairman Khaled Mahmood.  
Category: Renewable
IDCOL and Ricardo jointly organized conference on unblocking solar IPP investments in Bangladesh
July 30, 2017 Sunday 12:09 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) and Ricardo Energy & Environment (Ricardo) jointly organized a conference on unblocking solar IPP investments on 26 July, 2017 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon, Dhaka. The program was organised to bring in different stakeholders to identify possible challenges in developing and financing solar IPP projects in Bangladesh as well as suggest suitable mitigation measures to overcome such challenges, based on global best practices. More than 70 participants from different bank, sponsors and government organisations participated in the captioned conference, said a press release from IDCOL. The IDCOL and Ricardo led conference discussed what constitutes a successful IPP structure and explored how to develop effective power purchase agreements for solar parks. Speakers and panel experts also offered  practical  guidance  on  selecting  the  most appropriate  site,  technology and  capital  structure  for  a  project.  Throughout the conference, attendees had the chance to network and discuss their specific solar power plans. Among others Ashish Kulkarni, Principal Consultant of Ricardo Energy & Environment, Siddique Zobair, Member of Energy Efficiency of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, Arvind Mayaram, Former Finance Secretary of Government of India, Mohammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, Mohammad Alauddin, Joint Secretary of Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, Bangladesh, Shahriar Ahmed Chowdhury, Director of Centre for Energy Research of United International University, Munawar Misbah Moin, Managing Director of  Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Limited, S.M. Habibur Rahman, CFO of Maisha Group of Companies, Mohammad Arbaaz Nayeem, Business Area Manager for Overseas Projects of Ricardo Energy & Environment, Nazmul Haque, Director (Investment) & Head of Advisory of IDCOL, Bidyut Kumar Saha, Senior Financial Sector Specialist of Asian Development Bank, Ershad Hossain, Managing Director & CEO of City Bank Capital Resources Limited, Mesbah Uddin Ahmed, General Manager & Head of Corporate of IDLC Finance Limited, Mate Antosik, Principal Consultant of Ricardo Energy & Environment and Md. Maroof ur Rahman Mazumder, Executive Director and Head of Capital Markets of Standard Chartered Bank were present at the seminar. “We are privileged to be joined by representatives from Bangladesh’s government and financial sector to discuss how to unlock investment for solar power,” said Ashish Kulkarni, Ricardo Energy & Environment Principal Consultant. “I hope that the conference will provide valuable insight on how to structure a profitable solar power project which contributes positively to the government’s ambitious renewable energy plans,” said the Executive Director and CEO of IDCOL, Mahmood Malik in his closing remarks of the ceremony. IDCOL is the largest government owned, local development financial institution in Bangladesh with primary focus on financing private sector energy and infrastructure projects. Since its inception in 1997, IDCOL has been playing a major role in financing medium and large-scale infrastructure, renewable energy and energy efficient projects in Bangladesh. In addition to its financing activities, IDCOL arranges various seminars, conference, workshops, and training programs and provides advisory services for capacity development of its stakeholders. Ricardo’s energy teams provide power sector planning support to governments, public sector organizations and utility companies throughout the world. They offer independent and unbiased market, technical and environmental advice to support clients implement bankable and sustainable power systems.  
Category: Renewable
World`s first floating wind farm emerges off coast of Scotland
July 26, 2017 Wednesday 10:54 PM By BBC News
The world`s first full-scale floating wind farm has started to take shape off the north-east coast of Scotland. The revolutionary technology will allow wind power to be harvested in waters too deep for the current conventional bottom-standing turbines. The Peterhead wind farm, known as Hywind, is a trial which will bring power to 20,000 homes. Manufacturer Statoil says output from the turbines is expected to equal or surpass generation from current ones. It hopes to cash in on a boom in the technology, especially in Japan and the west coast of the US, where waters are deep. "This is a tech development project to ensure it`s working in open sea conditions. It`s a game-changer for floating wind power and we are sure it will help bring costs down," said Leif Delp, project director for Hywind. So far, one giant turbine has already been moved into place, while four more wait in readiness in a Norwegian fjord. By the end of the month they`ll all have been towed to 15 miles (25km) off Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, where they`ll float upright like giant fishing floats. While the turbines are currently very expensive to make, Statoil believes that in the future it will be able to dramatically reduce costs in the same way that manufacturers already have for conventional offshore turbines. "I think eventually we will see floating wind farms compete without subsidy - but to do that we need to get building at scale," said Mr Delp. The tower, including the blades, stretches to 175m (575ft), dwarfing Big Ben Each tower weighs 11,500 tonnes The box behind the blades - the nacelle - could hold two double-decker buses Each blade is 75m - almost the wing span of an Airbus The turbines can operate in water up to a kilometre deep The blades on the towers have been a particular focus for innovation. Statoil says the blades harness breakthrough software - which holds the tower upright by twisting the blades to dampen motions from wind, waves and currents.  The operation to begin shifting the first of the 11,500 tonne giants happened dramatically in the half-light of a Norwegian summer night. Crews secured thick cables to tug boats and used remote-controlled submarines to check for obstacles. Finally the giant was on the move, floating on a sealed vase-like tube 78m deep, its bottom filled with iron ore to weight the base and keep it upright in the water. Price drop The price of energy from bottom-standing offshore wind farms has plummeted 32% since 2012 - far faster that anyone predicted. The price is now four years ahead of the government`s expected target, and another big price drop is expected, taking offshore wind to a much lower price than new nuclear power. The Hywind project is being run in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi firm Masdar. The £190m cost was subsidised by bill-payers under the UK government`s Renewable Obligation Certificates. The bird charity RSPB Scotland opposed the project - not because it dislikes the technology but because it believes too many offshore turbines in the area have already been approved. It fears thousands of sea birds may be killed by the offshore wind farms, although it admits that estimates are hugely uncertain because it is impossible to count bird corpses at sea. The RSPB`s Aidan Smith told BBC News: "Generally we are very enthusiastic about floating wind technology because it allows turbines to be placed far offshore - away from seabird nesting sites, and it helps us tackle climate change. "We oppose the Hywind project because it adds to a situation we already believe is a problem." Floating turbines may create a new frontier for energy - but scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn far more investment in additional new technologies is urgently needed for governments to keep promises on reducing emissions.
Category: Renewable
BPDB signs deal with Chinese firm to build grid-connected solar power plant
July 9, 2017 Sunday 10:31 PM By News Desk, energynewsbd.com
State-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) on Sunday signed deal with a Chinese engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor to set up a 7.4 MWp grid connected solar power plant in Kaptai hydropower station area. Addressing the contract signing ceremony at Biduyt Bhaban State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid said the government has taken initiative to increase solar power generation in line with Power System Master Plan which says 20 percent of power will come from renewable energy by 2020. He said many advanced countries in the world are taking new environment-friendly renewable energy projects as this will dominate future energy source. Power Division secretary Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus and BPDB chairman Khaled Mahmood also spoke at the function. The EPC contractor ZTE Corporation of China won the contract to set up the plant within a year at a contract value to Tk 73.80 crore. The plant will generate solar power for next 25 year where per unit cost of power generation will be about Tk 5.48 per kilowatt hour (6.79 US Cents). The Asian Development Board is financing part of the project cost.                    The cost of total project is Tk 10,955.39 lakh out of which the government will provide Tk 1,755.28 lakh, Asian Development Bank would provide Tk 8,455 lakh and PDB Tk 744.21 lakh. The ADB has provided loan with interest rate of sum of LIBOR AND 0.60%. The loan repayment period is 20 years with a grace period of five years. The lifetime of the plant is 25 years. PDB secretary Mina Masud Uzzaman and ZTE Corporation project implementation director Liu Wei signed the contract on behalf of their respective sides.      
Category: Renewable
GMR, Bangladesh to sign deal to evacuate power
July 7, 2017 Friday 5:24 PM By The Kathmandupost
GMR Upper Karnali Hydropower, the developer of the 900 MW Upper Karnali Hydroelectric Project, is preparing to sign a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Bangladeshi government to evacuate energy produced by the scheme to Bangladesh via India, GMR officials said. A team from the Bangladeshi government is scheduled to visit the project site in western Nepal and start PPA negotiations with the developer. “The team from Bangladesh will visit Nepal soon to expedite negotiations,” said Harvinder Manocha, chief operating officer of GMR Energy. “We are planning to export 300 to 500 MW of energy generated by the hydropower project in Nepal via India.”   Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India’s NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam (NVVN) to import electricity from Upper Karnali via India during Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in April 2017. According to GMR, as Indian laws don’t allow private developers to export electricity produced in third countries over Indian transmission lines, Bangladesh signed an MoU with the state-owned cross-border electricity trading agency while GMR was the witness. “It is clearly written in the MoU that the energy that NVVN will supply to Bangladesh will come from Upper Karnali,” said the GMR source. “The tariff rate will be mutually finalized by GMR and Bangladesh after negotiations.”   Bangladesh has repeatedly shown interest in importing electricity from Nepal via India, and has raised the issue at meetings of the sub-regional BBIN (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal) Initiative which was signed by the four countries to facilitate regional trade and business. Bangladeshis have also shown interest in investing in Nepal’s hydropower sector under the same framework agreement. Bangladesh first expressed interest in putting money in hydropower during the ninth South Asia Economic Summit it hosted in Dhaka last October. On the sidelines of the event, the then commerce minister Romi Gauchan Thakali and his Bangladeshi counterpart Tofail Ahmed signed an agreement to build two hydroelectric plants capable of generating over 1,600 MW of electricity in Nepal. The proposed projects are the 1,110 MW Sunkoshi II and 536 MW Sunkoshi III on the Sunkoshi River in central Nepal. Both countries have agreed to develop the projects under the BBIN Initiative. As per the agreement, the electricity produced by the Sunkoshi projects will be evacuated to Bangladesh via India through the BBIN economic corridor. However, no headway was made on this front as the Commerce Ministry failed to communicate with the Energy Ministry on the issue. Later, when the then energy minister Janardan Sharma visited Bangladesh, he held talks with Bangladeshi State Minister of Power Nasrul Hamid on making joint investments for the development of hydroelectricity. He also invited Hamid to Nepal to sign an MoU to this end.  
Category: Renewable
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