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IDCOL targets remote areas of Bangladesh for renewable power

In Bangladesh, state-owned Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) is investing $500 million (€358.96 million) in a project that will provide renewable power for the nation's isolated villages.

The project will see the development of 5MW biomass-fired power plants, 3MW biomass-based power generators and solar home systems (SHSs).

'We have requested the Economic Relations Division (ERD) to look for the sources of the required $500 million funding support from donors including World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan, says IDCOL's CEO Islam Sharif. The funding would help increase Bangladesh's energy supply to meet the growing demand.

ERD has 'already requested the World Bank for funding the IDCOL's renewable energy installation programme.'

'The ERD will also approach some other bilateral and multi-lateral donors for financing the initiative,' according to a senior official at ERD.

It is hoped that the new project will help lower Bangladesh's reliance on fossil fuels. Today, 82% of the country's power plants are fired by natural gas, 5.75% by furnace oil and 4.29% are based on coal. Just 3.95% of them utilise hydropower, while the remaining 3.19% are based on diesel.

'Our area of focus is the remote villages where the government's on-grid power is totally absent,' Sharif states. 'As the people of the remote areas are not getting electricity facility, we want to reach them to light their houses.'