Inviting applications for the SAREP Grants Annual Program Statement (APS) – FY2024. For more information click Here.

Bangladesh

A delegation of USAID’s South Asia Regional Energy Partnership (SAREP) and South Asia Regional Initiative for Energy Integration (SARI/EI) visited Bangladesh from July 30 to August 4, 2022 to meet with the country’s key power sector stakeholders and to introduce SAREP as USAID’s next flagship regional energy project in South Asia.

The delegation met officials of Bangladesh’s Power Division, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB), Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC), Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), and others. During the series of meetings, SARI/EI introduced SAREP and its role of continuing SARI/EI’s work and activities from September 2022.

In the meetings, SAREP representatives discussed increasing Cross Border Energy Trade (CBET) between India and Bangladesh and the country’s participation in the Indian Power Exchange. The SAREP team informed that they would facilitate Bangladesh stakeholders through technical and capacity-building assistance for Indian power exchange participation by Bangladesh.

SAREP has proposed activities, including step-by-step handholding support for Bangladesh, delivery of guidance note-cum-roadmap for power exchange participation, training, capacity building and handholding support, and international utility exchange programs.

In a meeting with Habibur Rahman, Power Secretary of Bangladesh, other areas of interest were also discussed including floating solar, innovative financing instruments, green hydrogen related technical assistance, and cyber security-related solutions. In another meeting with BPDB, Nira Mazumder, Chief Engineer, Planning, suggested some guidelines to SAREP to pursue solar PV development in Bangladesh. She suggested prioritizing floating solar and policy support for solar PV development, calculation of real cost of fossil fuel-based power plants, and identifying payback periods of rooftop solar PV projects and appropriate measures to identify economic returns. The requirement for providing training to stakeholders to develop solar PV was also ratified. This includes training of government officials to conduct feasibility studies, and capacity and generation assessments, etc.

Another important area in which support was sought from USAID and SAREP is mainstreaming the participation of women in the power sector. SAREP offered various interventions that could be undertaken right from the university level.

In a meeting with SREDA, technical assistance in energy efficiency and electric vehicles (EVs), especially charging infrastructure, were discussed. Similarly, DPDC suggested technical assistance in smart metering, consumer awareness, battery energy storage deployment, and supporting EV charging through distribution entities.

The SAREP, SARI/EI, and USAID teams also met with the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) and other agencies on the Common Minimum Grid Code (CMGC), which is a compilation of commonalities within the grid codes of the countries of South Asia to be met as a standard for CBET.

In a meeting with IPP Cell-1 of BPDB, the SAREP team explored the formation of a trading entity within BPDB to trade, similar to the Nepal Electricity Authority.

During this mission trip, SARI/EI introduced South Asia Energy Database (SAED) and conducted training on how to use the tool.

November 24, 2022
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