Bangladesh has introduced tax exemptions to reduce water production costs and promote the use of solar power in 19 coastal areas. This initiative is a response to grid electricity shortages due to reduced coal and fuel imports. The goal is to increase dependence on solar water desalination in these areas.
The purpose of the measure is to reduce water production costs and increase reliance on solar electricity in 19 coastal areas that are experiencing grid electricity shortages due to reduced coal and fuel imports.
People living in coastal zones depend on seawater, as ponds and groundwater have become salinized due to climate change. Cyclones pollute ponds and canals, making the water unusable. Sea level rise has increased salinity in many parts of Bangladesh, including inland areas.
Several solar water desalination units are currently operating in southern Bangladesh. Each system includes a 500 W solar power system that drives a 0.5 hp (373 W) water pump. In 2020, Australian company F Cubed was awarded a government contract to supply 1,140 desalination machines to provide clean drinking water to around 30,000 people in Bangladesh.
An official from the Department of Public Health Engineering who participated in the project told pv magazine that DPHE led the pilot project in 16 coastal areas. “For every desalination unit, five families can get clean drinking water,” he said.
“This project was funded by the state, but considering the benefits of the desalination machines, funds are being sought from development partners to expand the facility,” he added.
In Bangladesh, power generation is currently 25% low during this scorching summer, so at least 3,000 MW of load is happening every hour.