When the whole of Bangladesh is suffering from an acute power crisis triggered by energy scarcities, the entrepreneurs of the textile and garments sector are coming forward to embrace innovative ways to battle the crisis. They are setting up rooftop solar power plants and installing sophisticated energy-efficient technologies to cut power consumption. These initiatives are really significant and a sustainable way to cope with the current situation where entrepreneurs are not only facing energy shortage but also paying a higher prices for energy.
Factories in some areas of the country are forced to run diesel generators, though they are also paying the gas bill. Following the courageous entrepreneurs who are installing rooftop solar power plants, other textile and apparel entrepreneurs also can think about the solution to avoid such situation.
The sector has more potential than the other industries for rooftop solar power plants, according to some experts. Bangladesh has more than 7,000 textile and apparel factories with vast rooftops well-suited for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Textile factories have around 420 lakh square feet of rooftop space that have the potential to generate at least 350 MW of electricity. The cost of electricity generation from the rooftop solar system is less than the price of electricity (Tk 8.56 per unit, a factory receives from the national grid), according to a study carried out by Infrastructure Development Company Ltd.
Observing all the scopes some textile and garments units like Youngone Corporation, AKH Knitting and Dyeing Ltd, Universal Jeans Ltd & NHT Fashions Ltd (two concerns of Pacific Jeans), Rising Group, Zaber & Zubair Fabrics Limited, Ananta Companies, Fakir Fashions Limited, Mosharaf Composite Textile Mills Limited, etc. have already installed or on the process to install rooftop solar power plants.
Almost 50 firms have installed solar panels on their factory rooftops with a combined power generation capacity of 50 megawatts (MW) as of now in Bangladesh, of them more than 70 per cent are textiles and garments units.
As manufacturers have pressure from international buyers to reduce their carbon footprint as a condition to get more work orders from the buyers, they will be benefited if they go for long term plan for solar energy generation.