Eight FYP should focus on rationale demand projection: CPD

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DHAKA, Dec 24, 2020 (BSS) – The 8th FYP should focus on rationale
demand projection, cleaner energy mix, rise in efficiency and better
quality of transmission and distribution in the power sector, said
experts at a virtual discussion today.

They said improvement of transmission and distribution of
electricity should be a major focus of the power sector during the 8th
FYP period. Focus should also be given on strengthening the capacity
of implementing renewable energy projects, and both traditional and
non-traditional renewable energy projects should get priority in the
upcoming policy document.

These observations emerged at a virtual Expert Group Discussion
titled “Reflections of the Power Sector in the Upcoming 8th Five Year
Plan: Perspectives on Strategies and Initiatives”, held today
organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said a press
release.

CPD’s Executive Director, Dr Fahmida Khatun shared the introductory
remarks where she highlighted institutional reform in the power sector
for developing a sustainable power and energy sector in the country.

At the virtual discussion session, CPD’s Research Director, Dr
Khondaker Golam Moazzem made the keynote presentation. Dr Moazzem
suggested that an alignment of the demand projection should be made by
the upcoming PSMP 2021 with other policy documents will be highly
important.

The energy mix which is highly biased towards fossil-fuel should be
gradually rebalanced with setting up renewable energy based projects.
He also highlighted that 8th FYP should highlight appropriate
mechanism to lessen the fiscal pressure, huge import payment and debt
burden caused in case of different power sector related activities.

Mohammad Alauddin, Chairman (Additional Secretary), Sustainable &
Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) under the Power
Division and also a panelist at the session stated that, to move to
renewable energy, relying only on solar energy would not be enough.

He suggested that more studies need to be conducted regarding
opportunities of producing wind energy in Bangladesh. Echoing with
CPD’s presentation, he put emphasis on institutional strengthening of
the SREDA by increasing human resources.

Mohammad Hossain, Director General, Power Cell under the Power
Division was present as another panelist at the session. He remarked
that the high reserve margin of generation is due to the low demand of
power in the COVID-19 scenario. He said that the government is taking
due measures in addressing rising cost, inefficiency and higher
financial burden on the power sector.

Dr M Tamim, Former Special Assistant to the Chief Advisor,
Professor, Department of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering,
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dr Ijaz
Hossain, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, BUET,
Professor Dr M Shamsul Alam, Dean, Faculty of Engineering (FE),
Daffodil International University, and Professor Chowdhury Md.
Shahriar Ahmed, Assistant Professor and Director, Centre for Energy
Research (CER) also joined the dialogue as panelists.

The panelists also suggested focusing more on transmission and
distribution of electricity in the coming days.

While moderating the session, CPD’s Distinguished Fellow, Professor
Mustafizur Rahman emphasised that the power and energy sector has now
moved into second generation of problems where challenges have moved
from concerns from generation of electricity to pricing and energy mix
issues. He ended the Dialogue with a vote of thanks.