Dissemination event: Environmental and Economic Impact of Agrivoltaics in Bangladesh

BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), in association with Dhaka Tribune, organized a dissemination event to share the findings of the study ‘Environmental and economic impacts of agrivoltaics in Bangladesh’, funded by the International Growth Centre (IGC), on March 7.

The research was conducted with the support of the General Economics Division (GED) of the Bangladesh Planning Commission, who provided access to the I/O table and employment matrix of the 8th Five Year Plan (8FYP).

The prime motivation for the study was the government’s priority for expanding power generation, particularly renewable, without impending agricultural land given Bangladesh’s land constraints. Agrivoltaics—the solution examined in the study—allows for double the benefit from the sun’s energy by co-locating solar panels with crops on the same land. The innovative approach and the study’s methodology provide policymakers with a clear framework for sustainable energy decisions.

The study compares agrivoltaics to various energy sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and other renewables. It analyses factors like cost, emissions, land use, and employment generation, including direct and upstream impacts. Furthermore, the study sheds light on creating equitable job opportunities, particularly for women and low- and middle-skilled workers, during the transition to renewable energy. Expanding work opportunities for vulnerable groups will in turn enhance the resilience and adaptive capacities of those most impacted by climate change.

Chief Guest of the event Mr. Muhammad Abdul Mannan, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Planning, highlighted the importance of such studies, adding that the government is looking for various opportunities for sustainable energy sources that will take into account the scarcity of land and other resources.