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Enabling a transition to low carbon economies in developing countries – Bangladesh

In this paper we describe how renewable energy generation is an equally valid response to the ‘energy crisis’ in developed urban areas as it is to the large scale rollout of electricity to the rural poor, using Bangladesh as a case study.

There is little doubt that energy demand is expected to grow rapidly in most developing countries over the next decades. For Bangladesh, economic growth has been accelerating and it is expected that the population will grow from an estimated 150 million people in 2008 to 200 million by 2050, with almost half of the population living in urban areas.

An examination of options for meeting the expected energy demand for 2050 on the assumption that economic growth will continue is necessary in order to plan infrastructure investments that will still be functioning in 2050. A simple scenario was constructed to predict the energy use in 2050. We estimate that by 2050, an electricity generating capacity of ca. 200 GWp will be needed.

The scale of this challenge should not be underestimated. Even with the discovery of large coal deposits and the dwindling gas reserves in Bangladesh, fossil fuels will not be able to provide the bulk of the electricity demand unless there are substantial imports. Renewable energy, particularly solar and biomass, will need to expanded to generate electricity at scale to meet increasing demand. Therefore, massive expansion of renewable energy is not only desirable but necessary in the medium to long term.

Read the paper here: Enabling a transition to low carbon economies in developing countries