In what will give India’s energy diplomacy a boost, power-starved Bangladesh wants to buy at least 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from large solar parks being set up in Gujarat and Rajasthan, said a senior official in the Sheikh Hasina-led government.
Fostering cross-border energy trade is an important part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s South Asia-focused neighbourhood-first policy, with India also pursuing long-term deals with Bangladesh companies for supplying domestic cooking gas and other petroleum products.
“Here is an opportunity. Here I see electricity being generated from sunshine and there is darkness out there. So, it’s a question of taking this electricity from here to there,” said Bir Bikram Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, adviser (minister) to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for power, energy and mineral resources affairs.
“It’s a good use of spare capacity and it’s a good use for us so that we have less of our own peaking plants. It’s a bit of a technical challenge for transmitting it over great distance but the engineers must be able to solve it,” he added.
This comes in the backdrop of India’s record low solar power tariff of Rs2.44 per unit registered in May 2017. India, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after the US and China, plans to achieve 175 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Of this, 100GW is to come from solar. Also, as part of India’s strategy of playing a key role in creating a new energy security architecture for its neighbours, 660MW is currently being supplied to Bangladesh. Read More
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