Though Bangladesh is a mine of untapped renewable energy resources the government is paying no attention to explore them, renewable energy experts and green activists said Saturday.
Speaking at a seminar they said that the government prepared its energy policy disregarding the untapped renewable energy resources of the country.
The seminar on ‘the unstoppable revolution: towards a 100 per cent renewable energy future’ was jointly organized by Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon, National Committee to Protect the Sundarbans and the Blue Planet Initiative at the National Press Club.
The experts urged the government to frame strategic plans by shifting the focus from fossil-fuel-based energy generation to renewable sources of energy.
In his keynote paper US based leading renewable energy expert Sajed Kamal described Bangladesh as an untapped mine of renewable energies with its abundant sunlight, heat, wind, water movements and photosynthesis.
He said that compared to Germany, which became an example worth emulating by setting the goal of 100 per cent transition to renewable energy by 2050, Bangladesh is blessed by twice the amount of solar radiation.
Bangladesh is exceptionally and naturally endowed with its integrated renewable energy mine, Sajed said.
If harnessed judiciously this energy mine, he said, has an inexhaustible capacity to meet the country’s energy needs for now and the future.
Sajed said that the best possible utilization of Bangladesh’s abundant and free renewable energy sources with affordable technology could replace the conventional energy plants.
He said that this could also render political rationalization obsolete that the solution for Bangladesh lies in fossil fuel based as well as the Rampal coal-fired plant and Rooppur nuclear plant.
He called for a thorough review of the National Power Sector Master Plan 2016 that sets the target of generating 30 per cent energy from coal, 10 per cent from nuclear plants and 15 per cent from renewables by 2041.
Dhaka University economics professor MM Akash also called for reviewing the National Power Sector Master Plan 2016 to put greater emphasis on power generation from renewable sources.
Akash said the government should subsidize solar energy generation instead of fossil fuel based power generation.
DU geology professor Badrul Imam called the current renewable energy generation scenario as ‘not optimistic’.
He said solar energy generation has been left to individual families as neither the government nor any company took interest to invest in large scales in the area.
He said that according to current projections 1,050 MW solar power would be generated by not efficient companies as they got the licences due to political considerations and not for their technical capability.
BAPA vice-president and Bishwo Shahitto Kendro chairman Abdullah Abu Sayeed called the Bangladeshi policymakers’ and investors’ failure to comprehend the country’s vast renewable energy potentials as ‘regrettable’.
Green activist Sultana Kamal said that fossil-fuel based energy generation was causing irreparable harm to nature.
She said that switching over to renewable energy needed political will, policy decision, corruption-free good management and technical expertise.
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