Can faster adoption of renewables help Bangladesh out of the staring crisis?

Mumbai: Countries in Europe are staring at an unprecedented energy crisis. Gas and power prices have surged to record highs. Power bills have skyrocketed, with citizens in the UK bracing themselves to pay electricity bills that will shoot up by 80% after the regulator there announced a hike come October.

But it\’s not just European countries that are facing the heat. Developing economies like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are faced with an economic crisis like never before.

One common factor between the European countries and Bangladesh could be their dependency on Russia. While European countries are heavily dependent on Moscow for nearly 40% of their gas needs and about 27% of oil imports, countries like Bangladesh are hoping to get a cheaper deal on Russian oil which they are willing to sell at $59 per barrel when Brent crude is trading at close to $100 per barrel.

But Bangladesh is concerned of what its western allies may think, given the many sanctions put on Russia since its invasion of Ukraine. It could also jeopardies the bailout package it hopes to get from the IMF.

So, what alternatives can Bangladesh use? It would like to turn to its nearest neighbour India for support. Delhi-Dhaka is in fact, celebrating 50 years of diplomatic ties this year and India is its 5th largest trading partner.

India has already been supplying 1,160 MW of electricity to Bangladesh and 1,500 MW more is already in the pipeline. But we also have Indian companies that are now setting up shop in Bangladesh and want to tap into the huge renewable energy potential in the region.

\”Renewables are cheaper and come with more stable prices. This can help regain control over the power sector, cut capacity payments and meet growth expectations\” says Krishn Anand Tripathi, Director at Anand Energy – a company that is looking to set up a 100 MW solar plant in Mymensingh in Bangladesh. Anand Energy has partnered with Total Eren of France and Amber Kinetics from USA to attract more investments.

\”Given the current situation, we believe that we can help bring that change. Our model is to build a solar power plant over 400 plus acres of land and sign a PPA with the government for the next 25 years. That\’s a long-time commitment that we hope to fulfill it\” Krishn added.

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