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Govt working to revise renewable energy policy

UNB . Dhaka
18 Sep 2022 15:18:19 | Update: 18 Sep 2022 15:27:16
Govt working to revise renewable energy policy
— Reuters Photo

The government is working to revise the “Renewable Energy Policy of Bangladesh 2008” to make it more effective in the changed energy and power sector scenario.

Official sources said, Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda), the focal organization under Power Division of the government, has already appointed a consultant.

The consultant – Development Technical Consultants Pvt. Ltd (DTCL) – has started reviewing the existing renewable energy policy, REPB-2008, and organize focus group discussions for stakeholders.

According to renewable energy industry insiders, the first meeting of the stakeholders will be held on September 20 in Sreda office.

The consultant firm convened the meeting on behalf of Sreda where it will make a presentation on the existing policy and seek opinions of the stakeholders to update it in a national and global changed scenario, said an industry insider.

He said the initiative has come from the government as a follow-up of its statements to 26th meeting of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), held in Scotland, United Kingdom, from October 31 to November 13 2021. 

In the COP26 meeting, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a written statement said: “We are also working for a more sustainable energy mix. We hope to have 40 per cent 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 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 panels and 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 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 utilize it due to lack of 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 utilise its full potential.

The cost of solar energy decreased substantially and has created a huge scope for investment in mega projects, he said.