DHAKA, Aug. 9 (NsNewsWire) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh today signed agreements for $25.44 million in grant to spur off-grid solar photovoltaic (SPV) pumping for agricultural irrigation.
The grant will further support activities for promoting SPV water pumping systems under the ADB-financed Power System Efficiency Improvement Project.
Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, ADB, signed the agreements on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB, respectively, at a ceremony in Dhaka.
The grant financing comprises $22.44 million from the Scaling up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program under the Strategic Climate Fund, and $3 million from the Clean Energy Fund for Output-based Aid under the ADB-administered Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility.
“The environment friendly SPV irrigation can replace diesel systems to enhance energy security, reduce environmental pollution, and mitigate climate change,”said Country Director Manmohan Parkash. “The SPV pumps will promote irrigation in off-grid areasand reduce small farmers’dependenceon expensive diesel.”
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. The grant will be used to lower the high upfront cost of using SPV pumping systems for agricultural irrigation, making them more affordable to low-income farmers. 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.
The project will also conduct an awareness campaign including workshops for the potential users on the SPV water pumping system installations and operations. Technical and skills training will be provided to support job and livelihood opportunities with a focus on women.
Irrigation consumes about 4.58% of the total electricity generation in the country. An estimated 11.06 million farmers are using diesel to operate their pumps for irrigation that consume 1 million tons of diesel per year.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing. Press Release