SURE Final Report 2019-2021 - Bangladesh

Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE)


This final report summarizes all work done under the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Bangladesh Activity from October 2019 to May 2021. It also provides recommendations for future energy programs.

Bangladesh is on a trajectory to become a middle-income country and is striving to become a developed nation by 2041. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, forecasts pointed to increasing national demand for electricity resulting from economic and population growth. Transitioning to clean energy would allow Bangladesh to diversify its power mix, reduce the risks associated with the volatile prices of fossil fuels, and decrease the negative environmental impacts of thermal power generation.

USAID Activities in Bangladesh

USAID’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program supported the Government of Bangladesh’s transition to a clean energy economy from 2019 to 2021. USAID completed integrated resource planning activities for the Bangladeshi electricity and gas sectors and supported grid integration for increased uptake of variable renewable energy (VRE) and cross-border electricity trade. USAID also conducted a feasibility study of energy auctions for electricity procurement.

USAID assisted the government to make evidence-based decisions on generation, transmission, and distribution planning. With an optimized energy mix and an expanded energy market, Bangladesh will have more competitive power costs and, ultimately, lower tariffs for end users. SURE’s work aligned with Asia EDGE (Enhancing Development and Growth through Energy) and furthered the U.S. vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific to ensure peace, stability, and growing prosperity in the region.

Integrated Resource Planning

The Bangladesh Power System Master Plan 2016 set forth a long-term strategy to develop the country’s energy sector. However, a more up-to-date and systematic medium-term planning framework could help catalyze energy sector transformation and reduce generation costs. SURE developed white papers on power sector reforms and the renewable energy implementation plan. These activities worked to identify and evaluate Bangladesh’s current electricity, renewable energy, and gas-to-power infrastructure and resources with an emphasis on utilization scenarios to meet near-future energy needs in a cost-efficient and reliable manner.

Grid Integration

Weak transmission and distribution systems in Bangladesh often lead to poor load management and excessive energy rationing, including load shedding. SURE developed a white paper on challenges in the development of VRE in Bangladesh. The program also hosted a national webinar series on VRE integration and storage that was attended by nearly 110 people. SURE helped plan for grid modernization and optimal levels of renewable energy integration by identifying key issues and challenges that impede development and adoption of VRE, providing specific recommendations for mitigating the challenges, and building capacity in select technical and management areas.

Energy Auction Feasibility Study

To date, five grid-connected solar projects with a combined capacity of 88.4 MW have been completed and 11 new solar and wind projects with cumulative capacity of 618.8 MW have been approved by the government. Building on this momentum, SURE supported energy auction-related studies for Bangladesh and developed a white paper on system-friendly renewable energy. The program also hosted four national webinars on renewable energy procurement that were attended by nearly 140 participants.

Suggestions for Future Programs

The government set an ambitious target to achieve middle-income nation status by 2021 and transform into a developed nation by 2041. However, much more still needs to be done. The country needs to speed up the adoption of renewables and of advanced and modern energy technologies. Energy agencies’ institutional capacity needs to be improved. Also, the government should leverage regional capacities to strengthen energy security through trade and collaboration. In the final report, SURE make 16 specific and actionable recommendations for future energy programs.

For More Information

Developing Renewable Energy in Bangladesh



USAID, through its Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) program, supported the Government of Bangladesh to enhance private sector engagement, energy security, competitive and transparent renewable energy procurement, and institutional capacity to integrate affordable renewable energy.

Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE)


GLOBAL, 2017–ONGOING – Through the SURE program, USAID helps partner countries power economies, meet international climate commitments, and strengthen energy security via private investment in, and competitive procurement of, clean electricity.