"Coal-based power plants—Payra, Rampal, and Matarbari—are clean energy projects," he said while addressing a meeting held at a Dhaka city hotel.
The International Growth Centre and Research and Policy Integration for Development (RAPID) jointly organized the meeting with a view to discussing the challenges of development in the power and energy sectors of Bangladesh.
Mentioning that renewable energy is expensive for densely populated Bangladesh, the state minister said, "Our areas and fertile land are major challenges. We can't compare with other countries."
"When we assumed power in 2009, there was load shedding of 17-20 hours. Then, our aim was to increase power production. That was a short-term plan. Then we set up small power plants. Secondly, our plan was 100 per cent electrification. We have succeeded in that goal as well. We have also provided electricity to the isolated islands, haor, baor and remote char areas," he added.
Nasrul Hamid said electricity coverage in every house has changed the picture of the country's economy alongside improving the living standard of countrymen.
"Now our aim is to supply uninterrupted and reliable power to all. We are working with various modern technologies. Though Bangladesh is not responsible for environmental pollution, we want to make the country pollution free," he said.
Regarding solar power, he said, "Our net metering formula is very attractive for consumers. Consumers can install solar panels and supply surplus electricity to the national grid."
Nasrul Hamid said the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) is ready to provide free assistance for renewable energy.
Associate Professor of Economics Department at Dhaka University Atanu Rabbani, Assistant Professor of Georgetown University Amrita Kundu, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development Research Fellow Rohini Kamal, and London Imperial College Research Associate Shefali Khanna participated in the event as panellists.