Mahfuja Mukul: At present, the power generation capacity in the country is about 24 thousand megawatts. Of this, the production capacity using renewable sources is about three percent. The cost of power generation is increasing globally. Some are even afraid of doubling. The government is increasing the importance of using renewable energy to reduce costs. Emphasis is on generating electricity using renewable energy sources such as natural sources – sunlight and heat, wind, water flow, bioenergy, urban waste etc.
According to the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), among renewable energy sources, PV solar tops the list with the highest generating capacity of 466.68 MW, followed by hydropower with 230 MW, wind with 2.9 MW, bio-gas with 0.63 MW and 0.4 MW from biogas. However, despite the production capacity of 700 MW, only 229 MW of electricity is being added to the national grid, which is only one percent of the total production.
200 MW of electricity will be added from renewable energy in 2023
By June 2023, 50 MW solar power plant in Chittagong Bariyarhat, 55 MW wind power plant in Mongla, 64 MW solar park in Pabna, 50 MW solar power plant in Netrakona, 50 MW wind power plant in Cox’s Bazar, 50 MW wind power plant in Chandpur will be completed. Their total production capacity is 319 MW.
However, the government aims to add at least another 200 MW of electricity from these to the national grid by June 2023.
Nirod Chandra Mandal, Joint Secretary (Renewable Energy), Department of Power told that currently 229 MW of electricity is being generated from renewable energy in the country. Another 200 MW of electricity will be added to the national grid in June next year. This is a big achievement for us. We will get this electricity without harming the environment.
According to the Electricity Department, currently the electricity generation in the country is 21 thousand 296 megawatts. Of this, 10,878 MW of electricity is produced using natural gas, which is 51 percent of the total production. After this furnace oil is used in 64 power plants. The production is 5 thousand 925 MW, which is 28 percent of the total production. Besides, 6% of the total production is generated by burning diesel, 8% by burning coal.
One percent of total electricity generation is generated from renewable sources. The government is moving forward with the target of raising it to 10 percent by 2030. Currently, 9 solar powered power generation plants are under construction, with a combined generating capacity of 450 MW. Apart from this, a wind powered power generation project is also underway, from which 60 MW of electricity will be generated. Agreements are also being made to set up 12 solar powered power generation plants with
a total generating capacity of 500 MW. Several other wind and biomass power generation plants are also in the works, with a combined generation capacity of 130 MW.
In 2021, the work of 100 MW solar park project started in Jamalpur’s Motherganj. In 2024, 100 megawatts of electricity will be available from here. 10 megawatts of electricity will also be available from the solar and wind power projects established in the vast grasslands of Sonagazi at the mouth of the Feni river.
Bunch of projects in pipeline
A number of projects are being undertaken to generate electricity based on renewable energy. Among these are 50 MW solar power plant in Khulna Terkhada, 50 MW solar power plant in Chuadanga, 42 MW waste power generation plant in Gazipur City Corporation, 70 MW solar power plant in Ishwardi in Pabna, 50 MW solar power plant in Muktagachha in Mymensingh, 100 MW solar park in Jamalpur,852 KW Rooftop Solar Power Project in Jamalpur, 10 MW Solar Park in Sylhet, 50 MW Solar Park in Panchgarh, 7 MW Solar Power Plant in Chandpur, 50 MW Solar Power Plant in Dimla in Nilphamari, 20 MW Solar Park in Debiganj in Panchagarh, 50 MW Power Plant in Dhamrai, 6 MW Power from Waste in Narayanganj Projects have been taken up for production, work on them is ongoing. By June 2024, the benefits will come from here.
Besides, 28 more renewable power generation projects are in the pipeline.
The UN and global environmental groups have been emphasizing the use of renewable energy to combat climate change and reach a sustainable energy system.
Secretary of Electricity Department. Habibur Rahman told that we are very optimistic about renewable energy. Currently, its generation capacity is more than 700 MW. Besides, the country’s largest 100-megawatt solar power plant is being constructed on the banks of the Yamuna River at Jamalpur. Its work has started. 50 megawatts of electricity will also be available from the solar and wind power projects established in the vast grasslands of Sonagazi at the mouth of the Feni river.
If the projects are launched, the power sector will go further. Climate change is a major issue in the current global context. That is why more emphasis is being given to the renewable energy sector. That is why several projects have been undertaken.
Energy experts say there is a government ban on generating electricity from renewable sources on agricultural land. It has to be picked up. Globally, if the cost of power generation materials increases, the cost of electricity will double. At present it costs 10 rupees to generate one unit of electricity. If the price of materials increases, it will increase by 20 rupees. However, one unit of electricity generation from renewable sources costs Tk 15. In that case, if prices rise globally, we will have to go entirely to renewable sources.
Jamalpur has the largest solar power plant in the country The country’s largest 100-megawatt solar power plant will be constructed on the banks of the Jamuna river at Jamalpur. The solar park will be built on 325.65 acres of land. The total cost has been estimated at 1 thousand 511 crores. Indian loan under the project is 1 thousand 115 crore rupees. After December 2023, benefits will come from here.
Energy expert and Professor of Chemical Engineering Department of BUET Ijaz Hossain said that the government is going to build a 100 MW plant in Jamalpur to get electricity from renewable energy, which is a groundbreaking step. If such a big project is implemented, we will understand the big contribution of solar energy in the country. Even if the electricity tariff is high, it is necessary to implement such projects keeping in mind the environment.
Regarding the potential and obstacles of this sector, he said, we have banned solar parks on agricultural land. As a result, our possibilities are limited. It would be better if I gave some discount in this case. But many countries in the world are giving discounts. Romania passes new law on solar parks on agricultural land.
He said that concessions can be given on agricultural land. One percent of the land is wasted in homesteads and industries. Food and electricity security is important ahead. Hence concessions are required for solar parks on agricultural land. The problem is that there is agricultural land next to the solar park. Now the cost of materials for power generation has increased. In that case, I think there is no other way but to go solar.
Mahfuja Mukul: Bangladesh is one of the most natural disasters in the world. Natural calam…