Reinforcing Advanced Energy Systems in Bangladesh

USAID and NREL provide technical assistance to the Government of Bangladesh to support renewable energy development with a goal of stimulating private sector investment, spurring economic development, and meeting growing energy demand through domestic energy resources.

The Reinforcing Advanced Energy Systems Project

Building on past and ongoing work in Bangladesh, USAID and NREL launched a project titled Reinforcing Advanced Energy Systems in May 2021 to provide unique, world-class technical support for scaling up and deploying advanced energy systems and support Bangladesh's transition to a sustainable, secure, and market-driven energy future.

Key to supporting this transition is creating robust energy policies, plans, and practices that can be effectively deployed. To enable this, with input from Bangladeshi stakeholders, USAID and NREL designed activities to:

  • Improve the use of data-driven decision-making for energy policies and practices
  • Increase the adoption of best practices and advanced approaches to energy planning and policy-making
  • Improve robustness of in-country analytical capabilities for energy decision-making.

Activities may span across the following thematic areas:

  • Renewable energy development in economic zones
  • Grid modernization and power system flexibility and resiliency
  • Distributed energy resource integration
  • Cross-border electricity trade and cooperation
  • Renewable energy procurement
  • Energy efficiency and demand response
  • Promotion of institutional partnerships.

More information can be found about the USAID-NREL Partnership's work to date in Bangladesh on the USAID ClimateLinks blog titled From the Ground Up: Building Bangladesh's Wind Energy Market or by reviewing the Clean Energy Transformation in Bangladesh fact sheet. 

Looking Back: Wind Energy Market Development

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 seven installed across Bangladesh) in Sitakunda by NREL's subcontractor team, led by Harness Energy. Photo by Harness Energy

The Reinforcing Advanced Energy Systems program is the next phase of collaboration resulting from several years of successful wind energy focused work in Bangladesh. Collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh started in 2011 when the USAID-NREL Partnership began providing technical assistance to promote the development of wind energy markets and projects. 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, called the Bangladesh Wind Resource Mapping Project. This project included collecting multiyear wind measurements and validating a wind modeling effort for high-quality nationwide wind estimation at various hub heights. The project culminated in the report Assessing the Wind Energy Potential in Bangladesh as well as Bangladesh wind data available through the Renewable Energy Data Explorer tool. As a result of this project, data has become available to stakeholders for decision-making for clean energy policy and planning.

Identifying Private Sector Challenges

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

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.

The USAID-NREL Partnership, in collaboration with the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, used 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 includes information such as:

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

The Government of Bangladesh used information and resources provided in the one-stop service document to inform the Wind Power Project Installation Guideline they released in 2021 for public comments.

The USAID-NREL Partnership has also hosted 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.

Additional Resources

Assessing the Wind Energy Potential in Bangladesh

Climate-Resilient Low Emission Development in Bangladesh

Greening the Grid: Bangladesh

RE Data Explorer: Bangladesh

Wind Energy Technology Primer: Best Practices, Considerations, and Tools

Wind Energy Project Development: Best Practices, Considerations, and Tools

Renewable Energy Development in Bangladesh – Key Achievements and Way Forward