WB to provide $55-m for country’s renewable energy

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GB news 24 desk//

The government today signed a $55 million financing agreement with the World Bank to expand renewable energy uses in rural areas.

The additional financing for 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 cook stoves in rural areas.

The agreement was inked by Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam and World Bank Country Director Qimiao Fan on behalf of their respective sides at the ERD in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.

The credits will come 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 percent.

Since 2003, the World Bank has been helping Bangladesh to 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.

ERD Secretary Azam said the government targets to bring households under 100 percent coverage of improved cookstove by 2030.

“The additional financing will be important to ensure that every rural household has an improved cookstove.” he added.

“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,” said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal.

“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.” He added.

With an additional $20 million support from the Green Climate Fund, the project will scale up the use of improved cookstoves, which emit 90 percent less carbon monoxide and takes half firewood compare to traditional cookstove.

These interventions will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and indoor air pollution.

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