Experts for efficiency enhancement, strengthening transmission, distribution system in power sector
DHAKA, June 20, 2021 (BSS) – Experts in a virtual dialogue today said that the power sector should focus on efficiency, better pricing, low carbon emission power generation and improvement of transmission and distribution.
They said the sector continued relying on fossil-fuel based power generation and related transmission and distribution as its case of achievement. After the preliminary achievements, the success needs to be examined from efficiency and reform points of view.
They also said the national budget for FY2022 has special importance from the power sector in the context of changing national and global perspectives with regard to addressing climate vulnerability particularly through clean energy and green growth.
These observations emerged at the CPD’s Virtual Dialogue on The Power Sector in the National Budget for FY2022: Perspectives on Allocative Priorities & Reform Agenda held today, said a press release.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, CPD delivered the introductory remarks. CPD’s Research Director, Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem made the keynote presentation at the dialogue.
Mohammad Hossain, Director General, Power Cell, Power Division, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and Mohammad Alauddin, Chairman (Additional Secretary), SREDA, Power Division, Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources were present as Guests of Honour at the dialogue.
CPD’s Chairman, Professor Rehman Sobhan also spoke at the dialogue. Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director, CPD chaired the session.
The speakers at the dialogue said the allocation for the power sector in the national budget for FY2022 has been increased- a large part of this is for distribution related projects.
However, a large part of these projects is ‘carryover’ projects where quick implementation of projects are required. The budget allocation for renewable energy related projects should be further enhanced.
They said the operations of Sustainable & Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) should be further promoted while the government should invest more in RE based projects (both small and large scale projects).
Speakers said incentive structure for investment in RE-based power sector projects should be further widened as well as FDI in renewable energy should be facilitated by making the domestic business environment favorable.
They also noted that the power sector should be made competitive – thus all types of bidding should be held under ‘open bidding’ system maintaining transparency.
Professor Mustafizur Rahman stated that in view of the government’s recent commitment for developing a clean energy based power sector, a lot of attention has been created about how the proposed budget is planned to shift its focus and allocation both towards reduction of fossil-fuel based power generation and enhancement of renewable energy-based power generation.
Dr Khondaker Golam Moazzem said the overall performance of the power sector during FY2021 is mixed. “Positive changes observed in case of generation, transmission and distribution.”
Mohammad Hossain, Director General, Power Cell, stated that the government is committed to reduce carbon emission and there are efforts to phase out coal energy. “Quick rental power plants will be gradually phased out.”
Mohammad Alauddin, Chairman (Additional Secretary), SREDA, remarked that there is a need to look for renewable energy beyond solar and wind energy for which more research is required.
Six Panelists also made their remarks at the dialogue.
Dr M Tamim, Former Special Assistant to the Chief Advisor and Professor, Department of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) recommended to analyse the sector by looking beyond the budget and considering the real scenario.
Agreeing with Dr Tamim, Mr Imran Karim, President, Bangladesh Independent Power Producers’ Association (BIPPA) recommended that Bangladesh should have the capacity to toggle between various fuels to reduce energy generation cost.
Asif Ashraf, Director, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Managing Director, Urmi Group called for tax incentives to businesses that generate solar energy.
Mahmood Malik, Executive Director and CEO, Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) opined that rooftop solar energy can be a good source of renewable energy in Bangladesh, which can be used beyond industrial purpose.
Engr. DM Majibor Rahman, President, Solar Mini-Grid Association proposed a core committee of engineers for research and analysis for efficient generation of solar energy.
Dr Farseem Mannan Mohammedy, Director, Centre for Energy Studies, BUET also spoke.
The dialogue was also attended by high-level policy makers, political leaders, academics, development practitioners, business leaders, civil society activists, international development partners among others.
BSS/PR/GM/FI/ 1745 hrs