Aerial shot of solar panels on Knit Concern Limited rooftop, Bangladesh

© GIZ / Film Noir Bangladesh

Bangladesh, the second largest garment product exporter in the world, heavily relies on its textile and garment industries. With over 7,000 garment and textile factories in the country, there is a significant opportunity to harness solar energy as an alternative to meet the energy demands of these industries. Bangladesh benefits from favourable climatic conditions, with a range of solar yield from solar PV module between 1350 to 1450 kWh/kWp. However, despite this immense potential, fossil fuel still accounts for 95% of the country's energy consumption. To remain competitive and meet the requirements of global fashion brands, factories need to adopt renewable energy systems and adhere to standards related to the environment, social responsibility, CO2 emissions, and renewable energy usage.

Knit Concern Limited, a major textile manufacturer in Bangladesh, has successfully implemented a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system with a capacity of 261.8 kWp at its facility in Godnail, Narayanganj. With about 16,000 skilled employees producing approximately 170,000 pieces of high-quality knit garments and 60,000 pieces of lingerie daily, Knit Concern is a major player in the industry. Collaborating with renowned retail brands like H&M, COS, and Cheap Monday, Knit Concern is committed to the sustainability goals set by the apparel brands to reduce its carbon footprint from the manufacturing process.

Knit Concern Limited sought an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) company experienced in designing, constructing, and installing solar PV systems to implement their project. After a rigorous tendering process, the German company SOLshare was selected as the contractor. By partnering with SOLshare, Knit Concern can focus on its core business while benefiting from a sustainable and reliable solar PV system.

Workers installing solar panels on rooftop of Knit Concern Limited

© GIZ / Film Noir Bangladesh

Support by the German Energy Solutions Initiative

The Project Development Programme (PDP) of the German Energy Solutions Initiative played a vital role in supporting the project development of the rooftop solar project. They provided technical and economic analyses, aiding Knit Concern Limited in understanding their current energy costs, operational patterns, and energy sustainability goals. The PDP team addressed any technical, financial, and legal queries, highlighting the cost-saving potential of the solar system through different investment models suitable for Knit Concern's financial demands. They also facilitated connections between Knit Concern Limited and German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that met their criteria. B2B meetings were arranged to negotiate with experienced project developers.

Currently, Bangladeshi solar companies can only meet about 2% of the annual demand for quality projects. This highlights a vast untapped market with significant growth potential. PDP promotes reliable solar partners that offer high-quality engineering, design, and financing services, creating opportunities for German SMEs in the market. As the market remains untapped, it is the perfect time for German SMEs to establish their presence and seize the potential before other international service providers from regional markets occupy the space. The Bangladesh market holds immense promise, and German SMEs can leverage their expertise and technological advancements to meet the growing demand for reliable and cost-effective solar energy solutions.

Investing in Bangladesh, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, offers attractive returns for German investors due to the country's high growth rate.

System Data

Installed capacity:261.8 kWp
Location:Narayanganj, Bangladesh
Client:Knit Concern Limited
In operation sinceNovember 2022
German partner:ME SOLshare Ltd.
Type:Roof-top PV
Yield:Up to 382 MWh per year
Saved CO2 emissions:Up to 223 tonnes per year
Number of solar panels:476 [550Wp Mono crystalline panel]
Number of inverters:4 [50 kW inverter]