‘Time to be energy-efficient now’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury on Sunday said time has come to make the country energy efficient now.

“We have to move towards energy efficiency in the future. We need to know how to make building energy efficient,” he said.

He made the remarks at a virtual seminar on "50 years of victory and progress in the power sector" organized by the Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB) on Saturday.

Tawfiq-e-Elahi said time has not come yet to consider electricity as a private goods and the Prime Minister does not support raising the price of electricity as soon as the price of fuel goes up. That is why the price has been increased slight in gradually.

"The Prime Minister's foresight is a lot, not to please the opposition or the media. Her vision is how to take the common man forward,” he continued. 

“We will come out of the liquid fuel a bit. Moving towards integrated systems, there are also some risks. For example, Russia has damaged the power system of Ukraine. We will lag behind if we imitate, and we will forward in ahead if we apply innovative talent ourselves,” the energy advisor added. 

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said Jamaat-BNP has pushed Bangladesh back 50 years. There had no plan on how to develop the country. In their time people have been shot and killed for electricity. 

“The proclamation called for enlightenment across the country in 2009. The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has shown the courage to change.” he added.

The state minister said “Many people talk about liquid fuel, rental… When I was made the state minister in 2014, many people were lobbying for electricity, to be honest, I was a bit nervous. The prime minister called and advised me.”

Engineer Mohammad Hossain, Director General of Power Cell, a development and research institute of the Power Division was delivered the keynote paper there.  

He said that many people said that the Rural Electrification Board was formed in 1977. In reality, Bangabandhu addressed to inform the Rural Electrification Board in a gathering of engineers in 1972. In its continuation the Rural Electrification Board was established.

“We have not only increased power generation, we have now brought the system loss to single digits. A skilled team is working in the power sector. As a result, it has been possible to connect electricity for 3 crore 89 lakh customers today. In 2009 there were only 1 crore 8 lakh connections. In 2009, there was 27 power plants with generating capacity of 4942 MW, now 140 power plants have a generating capacity of 23,777 MW. The Prime Minister has directed to distribute electricity at the same price everywhere, which is a landmark step,” he said. 

Imran Karim, President of Bangladesh Independent Power Producer Association (BIPPA) said, “I have seen the power sector like 10/12 years ago, there is no comparison with today. It was unthinkable in 2009. The decision to involve the private sector in this sector was timely. Another good thing was the fuel mix. At that time many agencies did not take it well. But their fears have proved futile.

Dr Ahsan H. Mansur, Director of Policy Research Institute said Bangladesh was known as a model in IPP till 2001. It is difficult to ensure quality electricity without making large investments in transmission and distribution system.

FERB Chairman Arun Karmakar presided over the function. Shamim Jahangir, Executive Director of FERB were also spoke there.