Bangladesh has very limited nonrenewable energy resources of its own. She is facing energy crisis and serious desertification problem in rural areas. These issues could be removed if renewable energy is used as a primary source of energy in rural areas. It is essential for scientists and researchers to find out the renewable energy resources and effective technologies. Bangladesh is endowed with vast renewable energy resources such as biomass and solar insolation. Besides, hydro and wind power can be considered as potential renewable energy resources. Harnessing these resources appears to be a promising solution for improving the quality of life of rural villagers. The government and many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have tried to comprehend and have strived to address the problem of energy. This paper reviews the renewable energy resources and renewable energy technologies (RETs) practicing in Bangladesh in terms of its implementation, research and development activities. The development and trial of systems are mostly funded so far by donor agencies in collaboration with government and NGOs. Biomass energy sources are traditionally used for domestic cooking and in small rural industries. Approximately 60% of total energy demand of the country is supplied by indigenous biomass based fuels. Activities on the development and promotion of biomass technologies have been going on for one decade. Some national and international funds have been available for biogas technology, improved biomass cookers and production of biomass briquettes. At the time, around 25,000 biogas plants exist all over the country in rural areas and educational institutes, etc. More than 0.20 million improve stoves have been installed to save biomass fuel. Over 900 briquetting machines have been operating in the country on commercial basis. The annual solar radiation availability in Bangladesh is as high as 1700 kWh/m2. Research and demonstration activities carried out for one decade have led to a start of large-scale utilization of PV (solar photovoltaic) by various organizations and by NGOs. More than 61,500 solar PV systems of a total capacity around 3 MW and 260 hot box cookers have been installed all over the country mainly in off-grid rural, hill tracks and coastal Bangladesh. Kaptai hydroelectric power plant is the only one renewable energy power generation plant of the country that is generating 3.28% of total 3651.20 MW. The first micro hydropower unit of 10 kW has been installed in a village of Bandarban through private initiatives. The project is providing electricity to 140 families in the village and to a Buddhist Temple. The annual wind speed at a height of 25 m at some coastal locations is above 4 m/s and much higher in the pre-monsoon and monsoon periods. The sites are suitable for power generation, particularly using PV or diesel hybrid technique for winter months. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.