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Global warming due to greenhouse gas emission and the energy scarcity worldwide are prompting almost all the countries in the world to look for alternative sources of energy. Energy situation in Bangladesh is extremely critical and its major power stations are run by natural gas. Presently, the gas reserve has fallen to such an alarming level that if no new reserves are discovered then this reserve may last for another 6~7 years. So generation of electricity from the alternative sources has become the crying need for Bangladesh. Bangladesh is known to have a good potential for renewable energy. Particularly solar energy is abundant in Bangladesh and can fruitfully be harnessed. In Bangladesh, nearly 75% of the population lives in rural areas and only about 30% of the rural households have access to grid electricity. Even fortunate people who have access to grid connection do not receive the power most of the time in summer due to unbearable load shedding. Alternative solution is to introduce solar home systems for the rural households in off-grid areas and to introduce solar grid hybrid system for the rural grid areas. In this paper, the cost of energy has been calculated for households using solar PV in the grid and non grid areas. Cost calculation has been made through Homer simulation assuming a moderate load for rural households. In grid areas, the optimum cost of energy is 4.5 taka per unit. The purpose of the paper is to highlight the benefit of introducing solar PV both in grid and non grid areas to reduce the pressure on the existing grid network and to save money from the government exchequer in terms of laying transmission and distribution networks.
Date of Conference: 5-7 Jan. 2012