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Promoting Wind Energy Investment in Bangladesh

Landowners in Bangladesh
Working closely with the hosting landowners and the nearby community is key for project success in Bangladesh, as in other parts of the world.

Since 2011, the USAID-NREL Partnership has provided technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh in support of promoting private sector investment in wind energy to meet growing energy demand.

Although the Government of Bangladesh pledged that 10% of its national electricity generation would be from renewable energy sources by 2021, currently no utility-scale wind farms exist in the country. Private sector stakeholders noted the lack of active wind energy projects in Bangladesh could be partly attributed to the challenges associated with navigating the complex wind energy development process.

Assessing Wind Energy Potential

A group of men transporting a meteorological instrument across a field on an ox cart.

Transporting the sodar instrument used for collecting wind resource data via ox cart through a field to its platform near Rajshahi, Bangladesh. Photo by Harness Energy

With funding from USAID and in partnership with the Government of Bangladesh, NREL led an assessment with in-country partners to quantify the wind resources in Bangladesh. Beginning in 2011, the Bangladesh Wind Resource Mapping Project included collecting multiyear wind measurements and validating a wind modeling effort for high-quality nationwide wind estimation at various hub heights.

ReExplorer

To explore Bangladesh wind resource data, visit the RE Explorer website.

The project culminated in a report entitled Assessing the Wind Energy Potential in Bangladesh as well as publicly accessible Bangladesh wind data available through the Renewable Energy Data Explorer tool. As a result of this project, the Government of Bangladesh has the data available to enable decision-making for clean energy policy and planning activities such as:

  • Designing competitive procurement processes
  • Considering wind energy in transmission and generation planning
  • Encouraging private sector investment.

A man in a hardhat installs a sensor on a tower high above the ground.
A wind sensor boom being installed on an 82-meter meteorological tower (one of 7 installed across Bangladesh) in Sitakunda by NREL’s subcontractor team, led by Harness Energy. Photo by Harness Energy

Identifying Private Sector Challenges

To better understand the wind power development challenges, researchers from the USAID-NREL Partnership hosted private sector roundtables in April and October 2019 to gather feedback about barriers to the nascent domestic wind industry.

In conjunction with further governmental and donor agency engagement, insights from these groups emerged about the challenges of the request for proposals (RFP) bidding process for wind power projects. Concrete feedback about how to improve the RFP process included:

  • Increasing response time to the RFPs
  • Considering a two-stage bid process with a prequalification round
  • Providing additional feasibility study information to all candidates
  • Gathering additional wind resource data
  • Providing clarity on incentives and regulatory framework.

A group of people sitting at a table with papers on the table in front of them.
The USAID-NREL Partnership conducted workshops in Bangladesh to facilitate stakeholder discussion about the challenges and solutions to wind power market entry in the country. Photo by Carishma Gokale-Welch, NREL

The USAID-NREL Partnership, in collaboration with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, will use this feedback to develop a comprehensive one-stop service to guide wind developers through the necessary steps to develop and interconnect wind projects at the utility scale. The guide will include information such as:

  • Relevant laws and regulations
  • Land acquisition considerations
  • Permitting requirements
  • Template power purchase agreements
  • Interconnection requirements and processes.

Grid Integration and Clean Energy Planning

The USAID-NREL Partnership is also providing additional in-country trainings and technical assistance to address renewable energy planning and integration challenges. The targeted assistance includes support on integrating wind generation into the bulk power system.  Ongoing technical assistance will continue in Bangladesh through 2020.

Additional Resources

Assessing the Wind Energy Potential in Bangladesh

Climate-Resilient Low Emission Development in Bangladesh

Greening the Grid: Bangladesh

RE Data Explorer: Bangladesh