Experts at a programme emphasised Thursday on initiating energy-efficient technologies in power sector to meet growing electricity demand with reduced consumption.
They also said coal-based 'high efficiency and low emission' power generation is the key to fulfill growing industrial energy demand in the country alongside production of small-scale energy in solar, biomass and hydro power plants.
They made the suggestions at a roundtable titled 'Sustainable Energy Future' marking 14th anniversary of fortnightly magazine Energy & Power organised at Bidyut Bhaban in the city's Abdul Gani Road.
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources chairman Md Tajul Islam attended the programme as chief guest, while the roundtable was addressed by BUET professor Dr M Tamim, Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) former chairman SA Mayeed and Forum for Energy Reporters, Bangladesh (FERB) chairman Arun Karmaker with Energy & Power editor Mollah Amzad Hossain in the chair.
Presenting the keynote paper, Mr Tamim said there are many technologies available in the world that make a power plant efficient by reducing power wastage.
Besides, mass awareness programme targeting consumers to conserve electricity can also have positive outcome in reducing power consumption, he said.
The power and energy expert also stressed the need for capacity building in manpower, power generation technology, plant design, and modernisation of transmission and distribution system as these can add value to the sector.
Talking about the future prospect of the country's power sector, he said, "It's a reality that we have to go for coal-fired power plants in near future but it has to be highly efficient and low- emission technology-based."
Currently around 40 per cent of the world's electricity comes from coal-based power plants, Mr Tamim said adding, Bangladesh needs to produce at least 30 per cent of its power from coal.
However, he said potential of wind power, biomass, biogas and hydro power is minimal in the country while solar power can meet the demand of electricity only in hard-to-reach areas.
Speaking at the programme, Energy Australia consultant Khondkar A Saleque said the country must utilise the potential of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in industries to decrease pressure on natural gas.
He also suggested carrying out of major overhauling and updating of power transmission and distribution systems as well as introducing smart grid, smart metering and prepaid meter for sustainable and efficient power use.
Mr Tajul Islam said many people have opposed the government's decision of importing electricity from India, but now no one is against it because of its benefits.
Welcoming criticisms on Rampal thermal power plant, he said criticism of the government project is a positive thing as it enables the authority to make better and efficient plans.
However, denouncing people's stance against mounting electricity price, he said besides opposing power price hike, people also stand against imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT).
Now, how the government would continue development works without enhancing revenues, he questioned.
The Power Cell DG said from the perspective of Bangladesh, it's not possible to provide electricity to 160 million people from renewable energy sources.
He said power generation has been the first priority of the government till now as there is a huge shortage of electricity. The ministry is moving to develop the country's transmission and distribution systems.
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