Bangladesh is a leading example of how electricity access can power development

Bangladesh is a leading example of how electricity access can power development

Bangladesh are becoming world leaders in developing their own national grid, with a continuing commitment to provide universal access to electricity for all of their citizens.

In the last nine years, the Bangladesh Power Development Board have almost doubled the number of Bangladeshis with access to electricity, with over 90% access to the national grid.

In the same time-span, the Bangladesh government have quadrupled the national power supply from 3,268mw in 2009 to 11,059mw in 2018; over 299 million residents now have an electricity supply; and the number of power plants have increased from 27 to 121.

Bangladesh is setting a shining example of how a developing country should priortise access to electricity for all of its citizens.

Rather than prioritising expensive renewable technology, the government has focused on base-load power such as gas and coal to provide constant uninterruptible power. The government in Bangladesh has a commitment to generate over 50% of its total electricity supply from coal-based power plants by 2030.

The Prime Minister of Bangladesh has also expressed support for renewable energy with a target of 2,000mw of renewable energy by 2021, but it is clear that base-load power is the priority in order to give universal access to electricity.

Bangladesh is on course to reach universal electrification within the next decade, which will put the country on a trajectory towards a fully-developed nation.

This underlines an approach that all developing nations should follow: prioritising grid-level electricity supply as a means to give all citizens the ability to keep their lights on, power their businesses, and in turn allowing the economy to grow pulling the poorest in society out of poverty.