Apparel makers are leading the way

SOLAR PANELS ON THE ROOF OF THE FACTORY

According to an expert, rooftop solar panels reduce a significant portion of industrial users’ energy costs and improve their green credentials. The photo was taken from the factory of Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited at Sreepur upazila of Gazipur yesterday. Photo: Abu Bakar Siddique Akand

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According to an expert, rooftop solar panels reduce a significant portion of industrial users’ energy costs and improve their green credentials. The photo was taken from the factory of Fakhruddin Textile Mills Limited at Sreepur upazila of Gazipur yesterday. Photo: Abu Bakar Siddique Akand

Textile and apparel entrepreneurs are increasingly interested in installing solar panels on the roof of their factory to meet some of their electricity demand while reducing carbon emissions.

So far, 41 companies have installed solar panels on the roofs of their factories with a combined power generation capacity of 50 megawatts (MW). Among the enterprises, 70 percent are engaged in the manufacture of garments.

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The Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Idcol), a state-run non-bank financial institution, financed up to 80% or Tk 300,000,000 of the cost of installing the panels with the aim of reducing the cost of electricity and develop green energy. factories for a sustainable environment.

The rest was borne by the companies themselves.

This was revealed during a workshop on the prospects and benefits of installing industrial rooftop solar systems, organized by Idcol at the InterContinental Dhaka yesterday.

According to Idcol, it takes a Tk 6 core to establish a rooftop solar power system with the capacity to generate 1 MW of power. The unit cost of generating electricity from rooftop solar power systems is only 6.5 Tk, which is lower than that of gas or oil-fired power plants.

“Rooftop solar systems can be a cost-cutting measure to reduce industrial electricity costs,” said Abdur Rouf Talukder, principal secretary of the finance division. The cost of electricity obtained from rooftop solar energy systems is now approximately 20% lower than the grid electricity tariff.

“Solar photovoltaic (PV) electricity is also expected to become cheaper than electricity generated from natural gas in the coming years,” Talukder added.

According to Talukder, installing solar panels on the roofs of garment factories will not only reduce operational costs, but also help the government reduce the cost of imported fuel in the future.

It is worth mentioning that more than 1,000 MW of rooftop solar systems can be installed on the unused rooftops of the garment and textile industries alone, Talukder said.

Fatima Yasmin, secretary of the Economic Relations Division (ERD), said the government has made solar energy more economical through the net energy metering policy which allows industries to sell their excess solar power generation. solar energy to the national grid.

In addition, the price of solar technology has also fallen. Rooftop solar systems succeed in reducing a significant portion of industrial users’ energy cost and improving their green credentials, she added.

Abdul Baki, additional secretary of ERD and director of Idcol, said the non-bank public bank has financed 26 mini solar grid projects in different remote river islands of the country.

These networks provide electricity to more than 120,000 rural people for their income-generating activities.

To date, Idcol has financed over 1,500 large solar-powered irrigation pumps across the country, helping around 60,000 farmers to benefit from year-round irrigation services in an environmentally friendly way. .

The price of solar equipment in Bangladesh has dropped significantly over the past decade, while the price of grid electricity has increased by an average of 5% per year at the same time.

Alamgir Morshed, Executive Director and CEO of Idcol, said that everyone will gradually embrace green energy because of its cost effectiveness.

Idcol provides financial and technical support to promote rooftop solar power plants, he added.

Among others, SM Moniurl Islam, Deputy Managing Director of Idcol, and Syeda Masarrat Quader, Regional Public Affairs Manager of H&M Bangladesh, spoke at the workshop.

H&M PROMOTES SOLAR ON THE ROOF

Swedish multinational clothing brand H&M is promoting the use of rooftop solar technology among its enlisted clothing manufacturers in Bangladesh.

Idcol had organized the second workshop on the installation of industrial solar systems on roofs with the participation of managers of local H&M clothing suppliers.

H&M officials have discussed installing rooftop solar systems with their local suppliers.

Like the first workshop, this one also focused on the benefits of net metering for industries and how rooftop solar projects can help H&M’s local supplier base reduce their carbon footprint and get more orders from international buyers.

A total of 46 textile and apparel manufacturers from whom H&M sources garments attended the workshop.

Michael O. Stutler