Boosting India’s Energy Diplomacy: Bangladesh Wants To Purchase 2,000MW Solar Power From India

Astonfield Renewables’ 11.5 MW solar plant in Patan, Gujarat. (Citizenmj/Wikimedia Commons)

Power-starved Bangladesh wants to buy at least 2,000 megawatts of electricity from large solar parks being developed in Gujarat and Rajasthan. With the aim of creating a new energy security architecture, India is currently supplying 660 MW power to Bangladesh while it buys electricity from Bhutan and is currently in discussions with Nepal for the same. India’s record low solar power tariff of Rs 2.44 per unit registered in May 2017 could be a driver behind Dhaka’s decision.

India plans to achieve 175 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2022, of which, 100GW is to come from solar. The move to sell solar power to Bangladesh is an important one for India’s energy diplomacy and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s southeast Asia-first policy.

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. 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.
Bir Bikram Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, adviser to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

India and Bangladesh have also signed a deal for construction of a 130 km oil pipeline.

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