Consultant of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda) has submitted its final draft on reviewing the “Renewable Energy Policy of Bangladesh 2008” to make it more effective in the changed energy and power sector scenario.
“We submitted the final draft prepared to revisit the renewable energy policy on Monday”, an official of the consultant firm– Development Technical Consultants Pvt. Ltd (DTCL), told UNB.
Experts engaged in the review said the most emphasis was put on revisiting the existing policy targeting the government’s goal for 40 percent of electricity from renewable and clean sources by 2041.
“Against the backdrop of land scarcity, use of rooftop of industries and urban establishments for solar power, solar-run irrigation pumps, floating solar, use of non-agricultural land, wind power potentials, biomass plants received the highest priory in the final draft of the revised policy”, said an expert involved in the process of the draft preparation, but preferred anonymity.
“Hydrogen energy, net metering system, use of Opex and Capex models for large-scale solar plants are also the areas, which received important focus in the review of the policy”, he added.
He also informed that a national workshop will be held on the final draft to get the feedback of the stakeholders and other relevant departments on the final draft prior to giving a final shape of the revised policy.
Official sources said, Sreda, the focal organisation under Power Division of the government, has moved to revise the 14-year-old existing renewable energy policy, REPB-2008, to meet a new perspective in the energy sector.
They said the initiative came from the government as a follow-up of its statements to the 26th meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), held in Scotland, United Kingdom, from October 31 to November 13 last year.
In the COP26 meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a written statement said: “We are also working for a more sustainable energy mix. We hope to have 40% of our energy from renewable sources by 2041”.
She also said, “Recently we submitted an ambitious and updated NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) to the UNFCCC. We have cancelled 10 coal-based power plants worth 12 billion dollars of foreign investment.
Currently, as per Sreda statistics, the country generates about 911 MW (solar 677 MW, hydro 230 MW and others 2 MW) while the total power generation is more than 25,000 MW which shows the renewable energy’s share is less than 4 percent.
The recent crisis in primary fuels for which the country is experiencing 4-6 hours load shedding is another reason behind the move, said a Sreda official.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid, recently at a function, said that among other options of renewable energy, solar power has huge potential for Bangladesh. But since it requires substantial land allocation, it needs an innovative solution.
He also said Bangladesh is now promoting the options of rooftop and floating solar plants and a net metering system has been introduced to popularise the use of solar power.
“There is a good opportunity to work on wind power as well,” he said, adding that wind mapping has been completed for 9 potential sites and feasibility will be conducted on the potential for offshore wind power.
Private investors in the renewable energy sector welcomed the Sreda initiative to review the renewable energy policy and bring necessary amendments to promote non-conventional energy sources.
Dipal Barua, president of Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association (BSREA), termed the initiative “time befitting.”
He said despite a huge potential, the country could not utilise it due to lack of a proper action plan.
Munawar Moin, Vice President of BSREA and President of Solar Module Manufacturers Association of Bangladesh (SMAB), said the government should introduce a policy under which the local solar industry could utilize its full potential.
Cost of solar energy decreased substantially and has created a huge scope for investment in mega projects, he said.