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Renewable energy can cut pressure of fuel imports

Published : 05 Feb 2022 09:26 PM

If it is possible to develop renewable energy by adopting proper initiatives and strategies. It will play a role in reducing import dependence. Due to the volatile global energy market, import expenditure has now become a major liability for Bangladesh's economy. 

The right strategy must be adopted to get electricity from all renewable sources including solar, wind power etc. Solar power will be available at 4 to 5 cents if the government acquires non-agricultural land and ensures development and operation facilities and invites proposals from the private sector. 

SREDA will have to take initiative in implementing Mujib Energy Hub to get clean energy again. Special invoice to CVF Presidency Abul Kalam Azad, the chief guest of EP Talks titled “Insuring RE-EE for a Sustainable Future: Role of SREDA and Development Partners” said the above.

Other experts who participated in the EP talk said that SREDA should launch a one-stop center for renewable energy development. SREDA will also have to take initiatives to address the problems created in the implementation of renewable energy projects. They believe that the development of solar energy is being hampered due to tariff inequality. If it is logically removed, it is possible to further reduce the cost of electricity generated from solar. On the other hand, SREDA has to decide what they want to do and seek help from development partners.

Abul Kalam Azad said, "Where there is more challenge, there is more achievement. Success in renewable energy is more of a challenge. If you succeed here, you can save a lot of foreign currency. It is very difficult to keep pace with the volatile world energy market. 

If foreign exchange can be saved from the energy buying sector, it will be useful for development in other sectors of the country.”

He said that a lot of work has been done on solar. A lot has been implemented in this sector. There are huge chars in the country where solar power generation is possible. Electricity can be generated from here at a very cheap rate. 

“Solar panels can be installed on the roofs of government buildings in the divisional city, panels can be installed on the railway line, placed on both sides of the roads etc. There are many dams where solar can be installed,” he said.

Floating solar panels can be installed at Kaptai Lake. It is possible to generate 500 MW of electricity by installing solar in 1% area of Kaptai Lake. In the meantime, the work of air mapping is going on. It is important to make a policy on wind energy in the sea. Making SREDA a one-stop center is not a complicated matter. SREDA has to work to lead with Mujib Energy Hub. Power generation is possible with sea waves. Electricity can also be generated using tides, he added.

Mohammad Alauddin said, “We have achieved a lot of success in terms of solar home. However, in a country with a large population, land scarcity is a big problem. Business models are needed for renewable energy. Creating a business model in solar irrigation has become urgent as electricity is required for only 4 months for irrigation, but the production continues for 12 months. In that case the rest of the electricity generated has to be supplied to the grid.” 

He further said, “Work is underway to generate 245 MW in wind energy IPP and the government is working to generate 110 MW in Sirajganj. Data is being collected on the potential of wind energy in the coastal area. SREDA is working on how to utilize wind energy in the Bay of Bengal.”

Mohammad Hossain said, “SREDA has to work on storage of renewable electricity. There is ample opportunity for policy discussions. 2010-15 was a good time for power generation. In 2015-20 we have focused on transmission and distribution. And in 2021-25 we need to focus on sustainable energy. SREDA can play a major role in this regard.” 

He said that despite the current production capacity, full production is not being possible due to lack of 

gas or coal. 

“That is why renewable energy is needed. In addition, renewable energy can only be converted into sustainable energy if it is made affordable. It should also be noted that the climate fund and the energy assistance fund should not be merged,” he added. 

Dipal Chandra Barua said, “If the price of electricity goes up due to high cost of fuel, then the benefits of 100 percent electrification will not be available. For this, the roadmap of renewable electricity has to be finalized. In order to get benefits in net metering, we have to think about tax. Now a tax of 37 percent has been estimated here. A task force could also be formed under the Prime Minister's Office to meet the urgent need for renewable electricity.” 

He suggested to make an action plan based on everyone's experience and implement it. 

“We need to increase our capacity to receive development support funds. In addition, utility companies can be targeted for 5 percent renewable power generation,” he said.

Mudabbir bin Anam said, “We have to work on how we can use the advanced technical skills. In addition, technical skills diversification is essential. It is not too late for us to start working in the sustainable energy sector. SREDA has to work in line with the demands of everyone to produce, use and develop energy. If there is political will, it will be possible to achieve success in this sector by 2040.”

Nuher Al Khan said, “The policy on solar power is very good. However, arrangements have to be made to sell the generated electricity to REB. If SREDA can be made a one stop center of fuel then many obstacles can be avoided and time can be saved. Private sector needs to be involved in wind energy.”

Special Envoy to CVF Presidency and President of Bangladesh Energy Society Abul Kalam Azad was present as the chief guests at EP Talks. 

Additional Secretary and Chairman of the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) Mohammad Alauddin was present as the keynote speaker.

Director General of Power Cell Engineer Mohammad Hossain, President of Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association Dipal Chandra Barua, Energy Specialist Engineer Al Mudabbir Bin Anam and Managing Director of Joules Power Limited Nuher L Khan were present as discussants. 

EP Talks was conducted by Mollah Amzad Hossain, Secretary, Energy and Power.

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