In terms of the price of solar power that is generated through the solar panel, Bangladesh holds the top most position in Asia. The average price of per watt of solar power in Bangladesh is around 120 taka which is nearly double or even triple than that of India, Pakistan and Thailand’s.
Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) sources claimed that, the current costing of installing a 1 KW home solar system including battery is around 1 lac and 20 thousand taka, which means the cost of per watt of solar power is 120 taka. But, in reality, solar power is sold at a much higher price than quoted by SREDA. Sources from a company of the solar industry named Solar Power and Electric Industry claimed that, the price of per watt of solar power is 375 taka including the entire home system.
International research organizations like Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) claimed that, a 250W solar home system is sold at 514 Rupee in India, which means the price of per watt of solar power is 41 in BDT. In Pakistan, the rate of per watt of solar power is 90 in BDT which is 86 in BDT in Thailand.
Nasrul Hamid, the state minister for power, energy and mineral resources said that, he’s working on adjusting the price of the solar home system in accordance with the international market.
Bangladesh mostly depends on imported solar panels but the scenario is gradually changing now as the country has started producing its own solar panels. Power division sources claimed that, there are already at least 7-8 organizations that are producing solar panels in the country. Rest of the companies usually import panels and spare parts of the solar panel fro, China, India and other countries. Around 56 companies including Rahimafroz, TMSS, Grameen Shakti sell and distribute the solar panels at root level where state-owned Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCoL) provides financing for installing those panels.
Siddique Zobayer a SREDA member (energy efficiency and conservation) said that, the price of the solar panels in foreign countries that are shown in reports are only of the cost of the modules but in Bangladesh, we usually charge for the whole system that raises the price to a certain level. Besides, still the country is dependent on importing solar modules which increase the price of it.
Despite the high price of the solar panels, the use of solar power is enhancing, said SREDA. According to SREDA, there are at least 65 thousands of solar systems installed in every month and the yearly rate of installing solar panels is increasing at 58 percent which is saving 1 lac 80 thousands of Kerosine each year.
Power Division sources claimed that, the country’s current capacity of electricity generation is 15,500 MW where renewable energy’s contribution is 2.76 percent or 429 MW. According to the master plan of the power division, the country’s target is generating as much as 2,000MW of electricity from renewable sources within 2021.