The apparel manufacturing industry in Bangladesh is globally renowned. But the tide is changing in the south Asian country, with renewables becoming more and more popular. The last decade saw the “green economy” discussion move into not only the mainstream media, but also government offices. With its enormous potential in the country, solar energy is dominating the ongoing discussion about alternative energy amongst private and public sector entities. There

If you are looking to invest in industrial rooftop solar plants in Bangladesh, the time has never been riper.

Thousands of Bangladesh Companies with Adequate Rooftops
Joules Power from Dhaka signed a memorandum to put up a 100 MW solar plant in Chandpur district, Bangladesh a couple of years ago. This investment is specifically in the Chandpur economic zone. With the Bangladeshi government planning to get 10% of electricity production from renewable energy, such installations are the way to go.

If you are a keen observer of the Bangladeshi power sector, you will already have noted an increased number of solar panels on apparel making facilities. Garment making companies are joining the “green” movement. Rubana Huq from the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) says, “…the number of such facilities is increasing.”

A flourishing apparel manufacturing industry offers the best platform for investors looking to install rooftop solar plants in the country. In 2019, data from Statista shows that the country had at least 4,620 garment factories. You have not counted industries in food, pharmaceutical and fertilizer lines of business, which are also significant.

Image: Industrial Rooftop Solar Plant

Land Scarcity in Bangladesh
This is definitely a challenge for Bangladesh, but a huge opportunity for investors in industrial rooftop solar plants. A study named National Solar Energy Action Plan 2021-2041 identified lack of huge stretches of land as major obstacle to uptake of sizeable solar power plants. The study identified possible locations for solar plants, including on water and rooftops.

It is not a surprise that the government is looking to use rooftops of public facilities and factories to generate solar power. Solving the land scarcity puzzle would be a huge step towards achieving the 10% renewable generation by 2020. That the government is aiming at 40 GW of solar power by 2041, and current installations are at 415.68 MW, is enough reason for investors to prepare their moneybags and start knocking the doors.

Savings- Costs of Solar and Fossil Fuels Moving in Opposite Directions
If anything should motivate an investor, it should be the returns on investment. In case you are wondering whether there is some form of net metering arrangement, the government provides affordable loans for rooftop solar through the Infrastructure Development Company Limited. If a business installs own rooftop solar, it can generate power cheaply by up to $0.037/kWh. This data is from the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA).

As the cost of solar power reduces, that of fossil-fuel generated power is on an upward trend. Turning to rooftop solar would translate into significant savings for factory owners.

The potential for industrial rooftop solar is immense in Bangladesh. With the government offering impressive power purchase agreements and room for growth being available, the monetary benefits of investment in the sector are almost guaranteed.

Keep with us for more updates about investment opportunities in renewables in Bangladesh.