The government of Bangladesh has signed a $55m financing deal with the World Bank to provide renewable energy across 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 cookstoves in rural areas.
Since 2003, the World Bank has been helping Bangladesh expand solar-powered electricity in remote and rural areas. Today, the country has one of the world’s largest domestic solar power programs, covering 14 percent of the population.
World Bank Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal country director Qimiao Fan said: “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.
“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 $20m support from the Green Climate Fund, the project will scale up the use of improved cookstoves, which emit 90% less carbon monoxide and use half as much firewood as a traditional cookstove. These interventions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution.
Government of Bangladesh Economic Relations Division Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam said: “The government of Bangladesh targets a 100% coverage of improved cookstove by 2030.
“The additional financing will be important to ensure that every rural household has an improved cookstove.”
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%.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence. Since then the World Bank has committed more than $28bn in grants and interest-free credits to the country. In recent years, Bangladesh has been among the largest recipients of the World Bank’s interest-free credits.
Source: Company Press Release