State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that all the liquid fuel-based power plants will be phased out within next two years.
"We think, we can come out of all liquid fuel-fired power plants in next two years", he told a seminar titled: "Energy Transition: Global Context" at Biduyt Bhaban in the city on Saturday.
Such remarks from the state minister came against the backdrop of the nagging power and energy crisis in which operation of diesel-run plants already been suspended due to excessive price hike of the primary fuel, according to UNB.
The function, organised by Forum for Energy Reporters Bangladesh (FERB), was also addressed by eminent energy experts Dr M Tamim and Dr Badrul Imam, senior energy secretary Mahbub Hossain, power secretary Habibur Rahman, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Mahbubur Rahman and Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain.
FERB chairman Shamim Jahangir presided over the function while its executive director Rishan Nasrullah conducted the event.
Nasrul said initially 1000 MW diesel-fired power plants will be phased out in one year.
He said three issues are being considered in dealing with energy transition in global context.
These are technological advancement, providing energy at affordable price and at the fastest possible time.
He mentioned that the government wants the private sector's more involvement in energy business.
That's why import of all kind of energy products have now been open for private sector.
"Private sector can import all kinds of liquid fuel as well as LNG alongside the LPG. They can set up their own establishment and supply to dealers for selling in petrol pumps", Nasrul Hamid said.
He also emphases on more use of electric vehicles (EV) replacing the existing diesel-run buses and other transports.
"The public sector bus and train should come up first to use the EV as its energy efficiency is 80 per cent while diesel-run vehicles efficient is only 20 per cent", he said.
Making his presentation on "Energy Transition: Global Context" Dr Tamim said Bangladesh should not haste in decision making based on current crisis.
He also said demand forecast based on sector wise bottom up growth projection on a 5-10 year time frame should be undertaken.
He suggested for engaging a team of world class energy trading professionals to deal with future energy purchases and contracts mitigating risks.
"The team should do a comprehensive world resource inflow and outflow analysis", he added.
Referring to IRENA's recommendations, Dr Tamim said Bangladesh's best path to reduce CO2 emission is efficiency improvement, putting emphasis on bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and renewables.
He said that along with local supply (both gas and coal), we must secure steady and sustainable sourcing of primary energy by import - coal, gas, cross border electricity, nuclear fuel.
"Every aspect of renewable energy and efficiency improvement should be vigorously encouraged, funded and supported by policy," he said adding that solar rooftop, irrigation, parks in unused government acquired lands can easily achieve at least 5000 MW by 2030.
"A separate study on energy and efficiency technology adaptation should be undertaken.
“And Immediate investment in grid upgradation and making highly trained independent System Operator is required", he noted.
Prof Badrul Imam said different studies, conducted by international firms, still show a huge prospects of local gas explorations.
The government should utilise such prospective scopes to over cone the energy crisis.
Energy secretary Mahbub Hossain said the government has taken steps to conduct 2D and 3D exploration across the country to acquire adequate data before inviting foreign companies to invest in gas exploration.
He said under the ongoing programmes, there will be about 600 MMCFD added to the national grid by 2026.
Power secretary Habibur Rahman said the government is trying to replace some 2000 diesel-run irrigation pumps with solar system.
"But we have to face a huge challenge in this regard", he added.