Sustainable energy already is incorporated in Bangladesh’s “Vision 2021”, with a focus on dissemination of sustainable energy technologies all over the country and a target of 10% of electricity generation to come from renewable energy by 2020. Sustainable energy also is included in the “One House, One Farm” strategy, with promotion of access to better cooking technologies as 85% of people depend on biomass today for cooking. On the ground, sustainable energy is developing fast. Grameen Shakti, the pioneer organization promoting renewable energy in Bangladesh, has installed 1.7 million solar home systems, constructed 32,000 biogas plants, and one million improved cook stoves throughout Bangladesh during the last few years. However as Thirdpole pointed out in an recent article from Bangladesh the share of renewable energy only represents 2,89% of the total installed capacity and the country plans to expand the energy generation in the coming decades.
Maintaining these efforts and combining solutions, e.g., in the EVD concept, lead to opportunities for strong, low-carbon development of the country. For this purpose, Grameen Shakti has participated actively in the national consultation on Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of Bangladesh and in the national inception on the Third National Communication (TNC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
DEMONSTRATING SOLUTIONS ON THE GROUND
Grameen Shakti is highlighting EVD solutions in villages in the Manikganj District, about 50 km from Dhaka. Each of the villages has unique features in relation to usage of renewable energy technologies, demonstrating access to environmentally friendly energy as well as attaining a better standard of living. In off-grid villages like Khowamuri and Sudhkhira, the focus is on using solar home systems to provide electric power. People need longer operating times for their lights, TVs, fans, and mobile-phone chargers. Moreover, solar-powered water pumps are suggested, as most of the irrigation pumps are run by diesel. People are also considering biogas plants and if a community-based biogas plant can be adopted. The village Ashulia is highly focused on biogas-based energy. There are several households in the village that raise cattle and poultry. Owners of the cattle farm sell milk in a nearby market, whereas owners of the poultry farm sell their chickens in large city. Cow-dung from the cattle farm and poultry litter from the poultry farm are used to produce biogas to be used for households as well as for cooking on the farms. The next step is to popularize the usage of bio-slurry as fertilizer. Comprehensive approaches to slurry usage as well as electricity generation from excess gas have been suggested in village discussions. Grameen Shakti has brought agriculture and biogas experts to the village to inform residents about better usage of slurry in the agricultural field and about quality of the slurry as organic fertilizer. Experts are considering introducing solar-based dryers to dehydrate slurry in an effort to obtain a higher, standardized nutrient content.
OBJECTIVES AND RESULTS ACHIEVED
Apart from the Solar Home Systems, Biogas Plants and Improved Cook Stoves the following village EVD solutions have been installed:
- Solar street light in off-grid Khowamuri village:
4 Solar street lights (20 Wp each) have been set up in the off-grid village Khowamuri for better movement and security. Meanwhile, the Government of Bangladesh has also taken a project to set up solar street light and Solar Home system in the village area under the project “Food for Work and Test Relief”. So, EVD solution is in lined with the country’s development strategies.
- Solar pump for clean drinking water and lighting in a primary school at Shudhkhira (Bokchor) village
A Solar Water Pump for clean drinking water for a school in the village has been installed as it was well known that iron content is very high in the drinking water. Also a Solar System was installed and will run a 1 HP water pump and provide electricity (250 Watt) to the light and the fans in the class rooms.
- Bamboo cage for slurry-pit of biogas plant in Ashulia (Dermran) village:
In the biogas village, the lack of slurry management is very common which is why a bamboo cage for open slurry pit has been adopted.
Moreover, the EVD intervention has been brought to some extent in the following High Level Meetings:
- National Meeting on INDC & NDC Mapping
- National Committee for preparation of Third National Communication (TNC) to UNFCCC
- National Meeting for SDG 7: Country Mapping
- Stakeholder meeting on GCF access and Private Sector Engagement
- National Meeting on Joint Carbon Mechanism (JCM) in DoE
- Access to the National High Delegate Group in COP 21 & 22.
WHAT DIFFERENCE HAS THE INTERVENTION MADE?
The EVD intervention in Bangladesh has given the opportunity to bring integrated comprehensive sustainable village development to off-grid areas of Bangladesh. EVD model has given the villagers the opportunity to be integrated in the village development which is really a crucial issue in South Asia.