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Relying more on coal is nothing but to be a hot ground of pollution

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28th-Jul-2020       
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CHINA and India were using Bangladesh as a dumping ground for coal as the country opted to increase its dependence on coal to 30 per cent in 2041 from less than 3 per cent at the moment for power generation, experts said at a webinar on Sunday. Experts at the webinar, hosted by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, also observed that Bangladesh rather moved backwards by relying more on coal while refusing to embrace renewable energy sources for the expansion of the power sector.
There is no rhyme or reason for our continued dependence on fossil fuels like coal and oil. All that has done is to raise up rates for electricity continuously since 2009 due to policy failures. The consumers have to pay more for power because the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) is paying penalty to power producers. The Commission increased the power tariff by 5.3 per cent in March at a time when the power tariff could have been reduced through policy interventions.
The tariff increased because the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) was incurring huge annual losses. But the tariff hike won't really address the cause of the problem --- which is why the BPDB was incurring the loss. BPDB currently incurs a loss of around Tk 9,000 crore is caused by its paying penalty to various private power companies for not buying their power and keeping them idle.
The Board's real problem is, it cannot sell all the electricity that is being produced. It now has 19,000 MW electricity for sale, whereas it's highest sale last year in a day was around 12,500 MW. Due to a combination of these factors industries and large domestic consumers in Bangladesh pay more per unit of electricity than an average user in the US.
This represents a large scale transfer of money from the consumers to a select few producers who are guaranteed profits even if they don't produce any power. Such agreements with the power companies would be unthinkable in any other country. So it stands to reason that such agreements must be rectified. The transmissions and distribution channels must be increased commensurate with our generating capacity.
Last --- but surely not least, we must look into renewable energy resources like wind and solar power to meet out future energy needs, as they are both compatible with fossil fuels now. To continue to rely on fossil fuels would increase both our cost and our levels of pollution, leading to greater environmental destruction. We can't afford any more environmental damage in our small nation.

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