Renewable energy’s upward swing in demand is getting unstoppable and particularly the solar energy will soon lead the industry, claimed the renewable energy experts. It’s not a tough assumption though for the energy experts as the earth’s fossil fuel reserve is limited and it is depleting rapidly. On the contrary, renewable energy sources like solar energy have unlimited potentials; probably you don’t have to think about its reserves for the next thousands of years.
Like other countries, Solar Power is getting huge popularity in a country like Bangladesh as the records suggest that on an average around 30 thousand ‘solar home systems’ are being installed in each month. However, the country imports most of its solar panels from foreign countries, which is still one of the major reasons behind its high price.
Hopefully, the scene is about to be changed soon as the country is on its way to make a “Second Generation Solar Cell” by its own. Scientists of Bangladesh have recently developed a ‘thin-film solar cell’ which is considered to be a second-generation cell type. The developers have made it in their labs and now working on it to increase the efficiency of the cell. The developers hoped that it would be commercially available within two years from now on. Energy experts said that, the homemade solar cell would reduce the cost by at least 40 percent.
Scientists from the Institute of Fuel Research & Development (IFRD) of Bangladesh Council of Scientific Research (BCSIR) have developed this solar cell. The senior lead scientist of the research team, Muhammad Shahriar Bashar said that, the project started back in 2012 which reached the goal a few months earlier.
Almost 80 percent of the solar systems used throughout the world are first generation solar cell powered. The 1st generation crystalline silicon cell is inefficient in over temperature and in gloomy weather. But the 2nd generation cell is much more efficient in those scenarios. Muhammad Shahriar Bashar claimed that, if we can produce newly developed solar cells in our country in a commercial manner then the cost of the solar system would reduce up to 40-50 percent, at the same time the performance of the system will swing upward.
Solar system is still a costly medium to get clean energy. A mid-range typical solar system costs Tk. 20 thousand, while the solar panel included in the system alone costs around Tk. 3 to 3.5 thousand and the charge controller costs around 5 thousand. But the costliest item of the system is the battery worth Tk. 12 thousand or more which has a very limited lifetime of 2-5 years while the total system is expected to have a lifetime of 25 years. To avoid the battery cost experts suggests going for a ‘parallel solar system’ where the solar system will be used without a battery as parallel to the grid power line.
Infrastructure Development Company (IDC) claimed that, there are approximately 40 lacs of the solar home system that are already installed in the country. Most of the systems were imported from China and India. The government has set up a Solar Energy Technology Research Laboratory in last year for quality controlling of the imported panels. We didn’t have any testing facilities until last year to check the efficiency of the panels that are being imported.
Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) has recommended making the testing mandatory for all imported panels prior to marketing them in our local market.