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Increase use of renewable energy: CPD

Published : 22 Dec 2022 10:15 PM

The cost of solar and other renewable energy (RE) are coming down day by day globally and governments should opt to go for use of proven technology in this regard instead of unproven ones.

The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), research director DrKhondaker Golam Moazzem made his observation while making a presentation on the interim report on the proposed “Integrated Power and Energy Master Plan (IEPMP) on Thursday at CPD office in the capital.

Appreciating the government’s initiative for adopting the Integrated Power and Energy Master Plan (IEPMP), Dr Golam Moazzem said this has some positive and negative aspects. “But despite that we appreciate the move as it has much more focus on renewable energy promotion than before. The issue of renewable energy has not been ignored in the IEPMP, but neglected. Technological change has not been adequately in according to thought,” he said. 

He, however, said that the government is now shifting from its original target of generating 40 percent of electricity from renewable energy by 2041.

“We see a major change in the statements as they now say the target is “up to 40 percent” by inclusion of word “Clean Energy” instead of renewable energy,” he added.

He said the RE technologies are getting cheaper day by day and generation of 16,000 MW of electricity, which is the targeted 40 percent of total planned power generation, is very much possible. Many local and foreign investors are ready to invest in the RE sector.

He also observed the government was trying to shift from the coal-fired power’s phase out plan by introducing “Carbon Capture Technology”.

The developed world is now coming away from this technology because it is not environment-friendly as such technology is used to capture carbon from the coal-fired power plants.

CPD has raised questions about the necessity of power tariff enhancement against the backdrop of the concerned ministry’s reported proposal for an allocation of Tk 56,860 crore as a subsidy.

Referring to the report, Golam Moazzem said that of the total proposed amount, Tk 32,500 crore was sought for state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) for power sector, Tk 19,360 crore for Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for petroleum import and Tk 5,000 crore for Petrobangla for LNG import.

“We don’t agree with a proposal of reducing subsidy by raising power tariff,” he said adding, “Rather, the government should go for a phase out plan to retire the costly rental and quick rental power plants to reduce the cost of power generation.”

The CPD research director said that the state-owned BPC is now making huge profit instead of incurring loss in its petroleum business after enhancement in fuel prices as the global fuel price is showing a declining trend.

He claimed that the BPC is now making a profit of over Tk 30 per litre in selling the diesel.

Responding to a question, he said that the ministry sought such a huge amount as subsidy might be due to an inflated calculation.

CPD executive director DrFahmidaKhatun said “Due to the lack of good governance, even after generating electricity, the government could  supply it to the grid and people are not getting electricity at affordable prices. On the other hand, the huge amount of subsidy is increasing gradually. At such a critical situation, we can make big savings with good governance, we can create a modern sustainable energy sector, and we should look at that.”