CPD for ‘no electricity, no payment’ deals
Subsidy burden in energy sector24 March 2023
Staff Reporter :
The Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) wants 'no electricity, no payment' agreements with a view to reduceing subsidy burden in the country's energy sector.
It also proposed for cancelling the Quick Enhancement of Electricity and Energy Supply (Special Provision) Act 2010 to lessen burden of additional expenditure on government.
The CPD came up with the remarks at a press briefing on "New Renewable Energy Policy-2022 (Draft): Will it be able to meet the goal of clean energy" at its head office in the city on Thursday.
Khandaker Golam Moazzem, Research Director of the CPD, said that future energy and electricity policies should be based on renewable energy policy frameworks.
He also urged the government to move away from the initiative to include coal-based power plants as clean energy by using carbon capture technology in the draft policy on renewable energy.
"The circumstance of the power sector in 2022 is different from the crisis that we faced in 2009. Hence, the speedy energy supply act is no longer needed. This is not just forcing the government to opt for inefficient ways to produce and supply energy, but also putting additional pressure on the customers," he said.Moazzem further said that the aim of inaction of the special provision in 2010 was as effective and urgent measures to enhance the generation and transmission of electricity and energy to ensure an uninterrupted energy supply keeping pace with the domestic demands and for quick implementation of the plan to import electricity and energy from abroad, if necessary, and for implementation of the decisions on urgent extraction and utilization of minerals related to energy.
The tenure of the special provision, enacted in 2010, was extended on several occasions in the past. Later, in September 2021, the cabinet cleared a proposal for the extension of the Quick Enhancement of Electricity and Energy Supply (Special Provision) Act 2010 for another five years till 2026.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam, at that time, said the draft of the Quick Enhancement of Electricity and Energy Supply (Special Provision) (Amendment) Bill, 2021, was approved in order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity and energy for the sake of making Bangladesh into a higher middle-income country by 2030 and a developed country by 2041.
But, the CPD believes the government should move away from such acts immediately in order to give way to competitive structures.
"Electricity sector wastage and its additional cost are being adjusted by passing the burden on consumers creating a huge capacity charge. Adopting a 'No Electricity, No Payment' system would have saved us from paying additional fees," Moazzem observed.
Welcoming the fact that renewable energy is getting the attention of political and government policy makers, he noted that there are deficiencies in the implementation phase.
Calling for further review of the efficiency of energy security and the amount of increased financial burden on the government, he said, "A coordinated energy and power system depends on the transparency and efficiency of contracts in the power sector".