Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Sunday, May 26, 2019 02:10:21 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Envision an ideal energy mix for sustainable growth

By
07th-Sep-2018       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Farhana Sharmin :
Bangladesh is emerging as a promising member of the Next Eleven(N-11)Emerging Market Economies which requires uninterrupted energy supplyto achieve the government's projected Vision 2021, Vision 2030 and Vision 2041. Environmentally Bangladesh isthe most vulnerable to climate change, therefore weneed to lean towards alternative energy to fight climate change but instead we are starting new fossil fuel projects for lowering the electricity price.
Right now, as much as we talk about 100% clean energy, we cannot shift overnight nor can Bangladesh depend on any single source for energy. However, the current shortage and constraint in the availability of harvestable fossil fuels lead to the exploration of newer energy sources.
Although there is a sizeable gas stock in Bangladesh, if the current extraction rate continues, this reserve will dry up by 2031 (S&P Global Platts, 2013).The Power Sector Master Plan (PSTM 2010) targets above 50% of total generation from coal sector (21.71% from imported and 29.07% from domestic coal) by 2021. However, principal barriers for such operation are technical difficulties and non-environment friendly method. So,environmentally and economically, for feasible alternative source, we have two options, nuclear energy and renewable energy.
Nuclear energy is still a newborn in Bangladesh. The only project is the proposed Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, with dual stations (1,200 MW ~ 3,000 MW). Despite of not being a renewable energy source it can be considered a clean source as it doesn't cause harmful carbon emission. For indefinite amount of power supply, it is extremely affordable as well. Although the installation cost is projected to be a budget overrun ($12.65 billion excluding 4% interest rate) andit is also high in risk profile in terms of technical complexity, maintenance and proper management of the radioactive waste.Also, the currently proposed Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant still will not be operable before 2022.
So Nuclear energy is not an immediate answer for our secondary energy source, at least not for another 5 years.So, the remaining choice is renewable energy. Till now the most popular renewable sources in Bangladesh aresolar, wind, biogas and hydroelectric power.
Karnaphuli Power Station is the only plant in Bangladesh generating 230 MW of electricity. A Power Cell supervised study also suggests two rivers from this area: the Sangu River (Potential capacity 58.33 MW) and the Matamuhuri(Potential capacity 20.83MW).Bangladesh government also plans to invest 1 billion USD to install a hydro-electricity power company.
Wind Energy has also made some inroads but its potential is mainly in coastal areas, and offshore islands with strong wind regimes.Presently there are 2 MW of installed wind turbines at Feni and Kutubdia.Another 50-200 MW at Parky Beach is under planning. Another promising renewable energy resources for Bangladesh can be Biogas mainly from animal and municipal wastes. Presently there are tens of thousands of households and village-level biogas plants in place throughout the country.
The most promising renewable source can be the solar energy. With an ambitious plan of being world's "first solar nation", (Nuclear Engineering International, 2015) the government has established the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) to promote usage of renewable sources.
Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) initiated Solar Home System (SHS) program in 2003 and till 2016 it has installed solar power in 4.5 million households, reaching 18 million peoplewith over 2.9 million household-level installations having a capacity of 122.2 MW. Through this SHS program, the government targets to achieve 'Vision 2021' with 1.7GW of solar capacity. In 2013, Bangladesh was rankedwith the sixth-largest renewable energy-related workforce in the world with 114,000 jobs.Other renewable energy sources include bio-fuels, gasohol, geothermal, river current, wave and tidal energy andpotentialities of these sources are yet to be explored.
But transition is not easy. It is difficult for Bangladesh to implement grid connected solar system as it will create disturbance in the current network of PGCB because of the unpredictability of the power, battery replacement issues. Land scarcity is another major obstacle for both solar and wind power plants. Hence, a trade-off between land for cultivable crop and RE plants is a critical decision for the government. But utilization of lands through high rise construction or building floating spaces (Inspired from Southeast Asian regions) can be possible with proper administrative planning.
The cost for renewable energy has reached a historical lowlately which has always been considered too pricy. A recent report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has shown that the per megawatt installation cost and the per unit power generation cost has declined both in case of solar and wind power. The installation cost of solar power plant with 1 MW capacity of a used to be BDT 350 million in 2010. But now it is reduced to BDT 110 million. Presently, per unit production cost of solar and wind electricity is lower than BDT 3.5. The cost of battery is also declining in average of 14% per year in between 2007 and 2014 and projected to come down even more.
But, as the price of solar system is declining rapidly, private companies are taking advantage of the absence of government regulation on price by charging the rural users more than BDT 30 for each unit of electricity, while the urban users pay almost 5 times lesser.
Recently a number of private companies in Bangladesh have been appointed with several solar power projects by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) ranging capacity from 30 MW to 200 MW. These long-term contracts are presumably done in a non-transparent way through which BPDB would have to continue to purchase each unit of solar electricity at around BDT 12.00 for the next 20 years. In this way the government will remain stuck with a fixed payment rate even when the price of solar generated electricity comes remarkably down in near future.
The first world countries are experimenting with unorthodox forms of renewable energy for sustainable growth and ecofriendly potential. A developing country like Bangladesh should at least adopt the mainstream technologies of renewable energy.But infrastructural backwardness and lack of proper planning and regulations are the constraints on the path of exploring all the potentials. Now, combined efforts from public and private sectors can make things easier and viable. So, it is high time,weenvision an ideal energy mixfor Bangladesh and actively march towards that all together for a better future.

(The author is a researcher and Climate Justice activist from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Sports »

A scene from the fifth round matches of the Walton International Rating Chess Competition at Bangladesh Chess Federation hall-room on Saturday.


Cricket »

Rubel eyes to finish World Cup as one of top five boawlers


Bangladesh speedster Rubel Hossain insisted on Friday he wants to finish the ICC World Cup 2019 as one of the best five bowlers.The right-handed pacer recovered from a side strain that prevented him to play all the matches during Bangladesh recent tri-series in Ireland. Before the main assault in the ...

International »

US troop move to ME dangerous for international peace: Iran's FM


AFP, Tehran  :Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saturday a US decision to deploy 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East is a "threat to international peace," state media reported."Increased US presence in our region is very dangerous and a threat to international peace and security and must be ...

Editorial »

Take time-befitting diplomatic steps


THOUGH the foreign relation of Dhaka with New Delhi and Beijing is remarkably good, it is not working well especially in the Rohingya issue. Dhaka had requested both the nations for several times to mount pressure on Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation, but they kept limited their efforts in extending 'assurance' ...

Entertainment »

Dimple Kapadia bagged Christopher Nolan`s Tenet


Dimple Kapadia featuring in Hollywood director Christopher Nolan's Tenet has got everyone excited. From Bollywood celebrities to regular moviegoers, everyone has expressed their delight and congratulated the actress on social media for her achievement.  Dimple Kapadia's manager revealed to a daily how the actress bagged the role. The manager shared ...

Front Page »

290 migrants rescued near Tripoli


Egypt Independent , Tripoli :Libya's coast guard rescued 290 migrants clinging to inflatable rafts on Friday in two operations near the capital Tripoli, a naval forces spokesman said.The western coast of Libya is the main departure point of hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing their countries from wars and poverty ...

Editorial »

HC concern over slow pace of banning toxic food items


THE High Court on Thursday rebuked Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) for its failure of removing and destroying 52 substandard food products from the market. The HC earlier ordered the BFSA removing the substandard goods of 43 companies from the market but the BFSA did nothing except publishing only a ...

Entertainment »

Poppy, Hasan Jahangir’s Eid drama Nayikar Honeymoon


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :National Film Award winner actress Poppy earlier acted with actor and play director Hasan Jahangir in Innocent Love, Bhalobasha Du’jonai, Mental and Nayikar Biye. On the occasion of coming Eid to telecast on Asian TV, Poppy again paired up with Hasan Jahangir in a drama titled Nayikar ...

International »

Taiwan holds first gay marriages in historic day for Asia


AP, Taipei :Hundreds of same-sex couples in Taiwan rushed to get married Friday, the first day a landmark decision that legalized same-sex marriage took effect.Taiwan became the first place in Asia to allow same-sex marriage last week in a legislative vote on a cause that the island's LGBT rights activists ...

Editorial »

DMP fails to discipline city roads


TRAFFIC jam is a common scenario almost everyday in the capital city Dhaka. Usually, it intensifies every year during the Ramzan. This year it is no exception. But sufferings of commuters have been increased manifold this year because of constructing metro rail projects and unplanned digging in different areas under ...

Cricket »

T20 kings West Indies seek to make fresh World Cup mark


Can the West Indies take the form that has made them such a potent force in Twenty20 cricket into the World Cup?That is the question confronting Jason Holder's side as they head into the one-day showpiece in England and Wales that starts on May 30.The Caribbean team, who open their ...

International »

May clings to power as Brexit gambit backfires


Reuters, London  :Prime Minister Theresa May was clinging on to power on Thursday after her final Brexit gambit backfired, overshadowing a European election that has shown a United Kingdom still riven by division over its EU divorce.May's departure will deepen the Brexit crisis as a new leader is likely to ...

Entertainment »

Momtaz performs with her daughters at Eid Ananda Mela


Entertainment Report :Legendary folk singer and Member of the Parliament Momtaz Begum has been passing best time in her career. Recently her mother Uzala Begum got Gorobini Maa award on International Mother’s Day. Basically Momtaz is delighted with her success. On May 19, Momtaz along with her two daughters - ...

Editorial »

BB failing to lead banking sector


WHEN there are huge frustrations among the political circle, civil society members and the ordinary masses over ongoing banking irregularities, at that time the High Court has halted the loan rescheduling facilities for defaulters till June 23, earlier offered by the central bank, the Bangladesh Bank. The HC on Tuesday ...

Sports »

With the world at her feet, Osaka takes Paris in her stride


AFP, Paris :Twelve months ago at Roland Garros, an embarrassed Naomi Osaka bristled at being hailed as the 'coolest thing' in tennis.Now, however, the 21-year-old Japanese returns to Paris as comfortably the sport's hottest ticket with the world number one billing, a bank balance bursting at the seams and on ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news