DHAKA: Bangladesh is to receive a 20-million-U.S. dollar loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) together with an additional 25.44 million U.S. dollars in grant financing to spur off-grid solar photovoltaic (SPV) pumping for agricultural irrigation.
The grant financing comprises 22.44 million U.S. dollars from the Scaling up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program under the Strategic Climate Fund, and 3 million U.S. dollars is from the Clean Energy Fund for Output-based Aid under the ADB-administered Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility.
“High diesel costs for irrigation are not sustainable and affordable for small farmers in rural Bangladesh,” ADB Senior Energy Specialist Aiming Zhou was quoted as saying in a statement on Thursday.
“In an area where grid electricity is not available, using solar energy for irrigation is a promising alternative to diesel-based pumping systems. The project will help meet diverse energy demands, improve livelihoods because of less pollution, and result in savings from the reduction in diesel use for irrigation and other agricultural activities.”
According to the statement, the funding will support installation of at least 2,000 SPV pumping systems in areas without electricity access with an estimated 19.3 megawatts-peak of solar capacity.
By replacing diesel pumping systems with SPV pumps, the project is expected to result in a reduction of 17,261 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.