Power generation ‘possible at lower cost' than estimated

FE Report | Published: July 23, 2017 08:32:31 | Updated: October 22, 2017 04:59:37

Nat'l Committee unveils its master plan

Unveiling a master plan (2017-41) on the power and energy system, the National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas, Mineral Resources and Power-Port claimed on Saturday that power generation is possible at a price lesser than the government estimated, reports UNB.

It has showed that generation of 91,700 MW power by 2041 is possible at a cost of $110 billion, less by $19 billion than that of the government's estimated cost of $ 129 billion for generation of 57,000 MW during the same period.

Presenting the 24-year mega plan, Committee's member secretary Prof Anu Mohammad said the core policy of the plan is to make the country self-dependent in power generation by building capacity while the 'government's focus is on making the country dependent on import-based energy'.

"We've focused on energy-mix prioritising the use of renewable sources and natural gas while the government has been prioritising imported coal for power generation," he said while addressing a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.

President of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Muzahidul Islam Selim and other leaders of the National Committee, including Saiful Huda, Moshrefa Mishu and Ruhin Hossain Prince were present at the press conference.

Mahbub Sumon, a member of the expert team which prepared the master plan on behalf of the National Committee, made a power-point presentation on it.

Anu Mohammad said it was a draft master plan and it would be finalised after debate and discussion on it.

He said if the National Committee's master plan is implemented, the power tariff will come down to Tk 5.10 per unit by 2041 while the tariff will be Tk 12.79 per unit if the government's master plan is implemented.

In the master plan, divided into short (up to-2021), medium (up to 2031) and long term (up to 2041), he said the idea of using coal for power generation has been rejected and instead the priorities were shifted to different renewable energy sources because of their decreasing cost.

He said the plan forecasts the generation of 25,250 MW of electricity by 2021, where 59 per cent power will come from natural gas, 19 per cent from liquid fuel, 10 per cent renewable energy, and 12 per cent from other sources. Some 49,700 MW of electricity will be generated by 2031, of which, 49 per cent will come from natural gas, 39 per cent renewable energy and 12 per cent from other sources while 91,700 MW will be generated by 2041, of which 55 per cent power will come from renewable energy, 37 per cent from natural gas and the remaining 8.0 per cent from other sources.

Anu Mohammad said renewable energy is globally getting focus for future electricity generation. Even, India and China have been focusing on the renewable sources, especially solar power, because of its decreasing trend of cost.

But Bangladesh's main focus is on imported energy, especially imported coal for power generation, when both India and China have announced their plan to shut down coal-based power plants, he said.

"China has cancelled 110 coal-fired power plants in recent years considering environmental aspects," he added.

He also criticised the government for its nuclear power plant project saying that the project is being implemented in a non-transparent way and it would put the country at stake.

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