Developing and tapping renewable energy

Rahman Jahangir

Bangladesh has targeted to take its electricity generation capacity to 38,185 megawatts (MW) by 2030, anticipating that the demand would rise to 33,708MW. The government, however, plans to produce only 111MW of electricity from renewable energy sources, which is too low.

Pressure on gas and petrol-based power generation has cost Bangladesh heavily. The government has to pay heavy subsidies for providing electricity at affordable lower prices.

Countries around the world are busy developing renewable energy sources. China comes out as the leader in annual investments, first for solar heated water, third in ethanol production and fifth in wind energy. India is fourth in wind energy and solar-heated water investments. Of the 43 countries that have national renewable energy targets, especially eight are emerging economies: China, Brazil, India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Egypt and South Africa.

Bangladesh too has set targets for developing renewable energy resources to meet 5.0 per cent of the total power demand by 2015 and 10 per cent by 2020. According to Renewable Energy Policy of Bangladesh, the objectives are to harnessing the potential of renewable energy resources and dissemination of renewable energy technologies in rural, semi-urban and urban areas; enabling, encouraging, and facilitating both public and private sector investment in renewable energy projects; and training and for facilitating the use of renewable energy at every level of energy usage; and promoting development of local technology in the field of renewable energy.

But there are still no comprehensive efforts in Bangladesh to implement the objectives of the Renewable Energy Policy. The government should focus more on renewable energy for additional power generation however small its contribution will be.

China has expressed its intent to invest and help develop renewable energy in Bangladesh. An experts’ team on renewable energy, led by Xie Jin Shu, consultant for the division of coordination and scientific and technological equipment of Yunnan provincial energy administration, recently visited Bangladesh to explore new market. “We are here to realise the potential of the country’s renewable energy sector,” said Shu. “I think this is the right time for us to partner with Bangladesh for the development of the sector.” He was speaking at a discussion with the leaders of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) at the FBCCI’s office in the capital. Shu said they will extend their all-out cooperation in the near future for the renewable energy sector.

Source: Financial Express