Renewable energy and energy efficiency
Title: Renewable energy and energy efficiency programme (REEEP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources (MPEMR)
Overall term: 2007 to 2018
The reliable and efficient delivery of energy is key to reducing poverty and boosting the economic development in Bangladesh. By 2021, the country is set to reach middle-income status and achieve its target of making electricity available for all.
Currently, the demand for energy is growing at a very high rate. Failure to provide the necessary amount of energy now would restrain the economic development. In order to cope with this swift development Bangladesh needs to generate energy from alternative sources. Aware of the problem, the Government of Bangladesh has already undertaken several measures to improve the availability of power through diversification of energy sources. Nonetheless, securing an adequate supply of affordable modern energy for households and the industry remains a challenge.
To date, about six per cent of the entire population has access to natural gas, primarily in major urban areas. The rest of the population depends on biomass for fuel, especially wood, biomass briquettes, cow dung and agricultural residues. Consequently, wood and organic matter account for 63 per cent of primary energy supply, and around 35 per cent of all households use fuelwood for cooking (BBS, 2011).
Developing sustainable, reliable, efficient and decentralised energy services based on renewable resources is therefore critical to reducing poverty, improving public health and protecting the environment.
Energy is available to more people in Bangladesh. Energy efficiency has improved and more electricity comes from renewable and environmentally friendly sources.
The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Programme’s (REEEP) strategic orientation is geared to increasing the use of renewable energies and raising energy efficiency while formulating concepts for their generation. Programme inputs – including pilot activities to ensure market sustainability – focus on building technological and human resources capacity and on developing innovative financial mechanisms and a suitable regulatory environment. The programme also co-operates widely with supply and demand-side stakeholders, development partners, financial institutions and regulatory authorities.
The programme essentially aims to:
- Develop the framework conditions required for the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency. It plans to do this by means of policy advocacy and by supporting Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority’s (SREDA) institutional capacity development.
- Develop locally customised technological solutions for sustainable energy delivery and establish business cases through successful piloting.
- Facilitate market uptake of successful business models by developing stakeholder capacity, promoting access to finance and leveraging sustainable ownership.
To develop and adapt relevant technologies, the programme cooperates with research and educational institutions and government programmes. The programme has provided constant support to SREDA ever since its inception.
The GFA Consulting Group is supporting implementation of the programme’s Renewable Energy component.
REEEP has consistently advocated the development of the regulatory frameworks needed to pro-mote renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, leading to some notable outcomes.
The project has offered technical support for the installation of about 1,500 biogas plants, which have achieved a commercial production level of five megawatts. Moreover, it has installed 122 separate climate-resilient solar-powered drinking water plants, which help to secure a sustainable and safe drinking water supply for more than 500,000 people in six coastal districts of Bangladesh.
At Keraniganj Upazilla of Dhaka, REEEP conducted a feasibility study to explore the possibility of waste-to-energy (WtE) conversion. The results have convinced the Bangladesh Government to invest in the first waste to energy utility grade pilot project in Bangladesh.
In 2015, the project piloted a LED tube light project in a Ready Made Garments (RMG) factory under the Energy Services Company (ESCO) model. The aim was to demonstrate the energy efficiency of LED. In the process, the programme also set a standard for LED tube lights to ensure compliance with minimum RMG lighting requirements as per international buyers’ standards. REEEP is currently working on identification of all possible energy efficiency options in composite textile industries through energy audits. To implement a pilot in this sector, the programme aims to leverage finance, develop a monitoring protocol and train utility personnel.
In response to day time lighting needs in different industries, the project piloted a research and devel-opment (R&D) project on an industrial solar pipe light using locally available materials that would give industrial buildings free natural lighting. The results are a 14-inch diameter tubular skylight for cottage industries and a 22-inch diameter tubular skylight for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enabling them to use free natural lighting for 10-12 hours during the day, instead of electric lights.
The steel re-rolling/manufacturing sector is also affected as a result of energy shortage. The project is conducting walk through and investment grade energy audits in selected industries, along with provi-sion of energy management training to relevant personnel.
In 2014, together with partner organisations, the programme started promoting Retained Heat Cookers (RHCs). Compared to conventional stoves, this cooking solution can produce fuel savings of up to 48 per cent, depending on the food item. RHCs also reduce cooking time by two thirds, lower carbon dioxide emissions and cut down on indoor air pollution, thus promoting women’s empowerment in a number of ways. Support to promote RHCs include assisting manufacturing organisations to develop their capacity, market facilitation development and training users to operate the stoves. Six manufac-turers have thus far produced and sold around 32,000 RHCs since 2014, which have saved around 1,900 tonnes of oil equivalent.
REEEP is also promoting the use of handmade biomass briquettes for cooking, which will contribute towards reducing deforestation. Improving the composition of different handmade briquettes as well as assessing the market and available technologies for production are part of this work.
Considering Bangladesh’s geographical location, roof top solar panels have huge potential in the country. The project has completed business viability assessment and technical compatibility with the existing grid system to capitalise on this potential based on the government’s net metering policy.
The promotion of improved rice parboiling systems (IRPS) is helping to save energy and creating pollution free working environments for rice-mill workers, particularly for women. Following the installa-tion of 14 demonstration units across the country’s 50 rice mill clusters, there are now 75 systems of this kind in operation, 15 of them were installed with support by the programme. More than 50 techni-cians have been trained and can now provide local cluster-based services.
Moreover, the programme has conducted a feasibility study in support of MPEMR’s vision of con-servative energy solutions. It aims to explore the potential of using waste heat from power stations for drying or creating a cooling effect through lithium-bromide or ammonia water based vapour absorp-tion technologies.