Bangladesh has set an ambitious target of generating more than 4,100 MW of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The initiative is aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Half of this production i.e. 2,026 MW will come from solar energy. 1 thousand and 596 MW of electricity will be generated using water and wind respectively.
Bangladesh has included the details of the plan in the updated National Determined Contribution (NDC) and submitted it to the Climate Change Outline Conference (UNFCCC) ahead of the ‘Climate Change Summit COP-28’ which started in Glasgow.
The 200 countries that took part in the meeting signed the Paris Agreement in 2015. Under the terms of the agreement, the countries pledged to keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius, the earliest stage of the Industrial Revolution, by 2030. The agreement also called for lowering the temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius as a long-term goal to avert climate catastrophe.
Bangladesh’s NDC said that to achieve this goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions, appropriate funding, technology and capacity building assistance would be needed.
Bangladesh’s contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions is less than 1 percent. Bangladesh is one of the countries most at risk of climate catastrophe due to rising sea level and greenhouse gas emissions are mainly responsible for this rise.
Mohammad Hossain, director general of the power cell under the power department, said, “We need financial support to be climate tolerant. We will try to give importance to this issue in the conference.
The year 2012 has been considered as the basis for updating the NDC of Bangladesh. The plan will further expand various initiatives to curb rising gas emissions so that the country can live up to its global responsibility.
The NDC has promised a number of initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will lead the country to a low-carbon economy. In this case, the goal is not to exceed the per capita carbon emissions of developing countries.
These sectors include power, industrial processing, product use, agriculture, forestry and other uses of land and waste disposal.
Power sector initiatives include coal, gas and furnace oil based power generation activities and electricity generated from renewable sources.
According to the Renewable Energy Policy of 2008, it is not possible to achieve the target of 5 percent of the total electricity generation of the country by 2015 and 10 percent by 2020. However, new plans have been formulated.
At present, Bangladesh has the capacity to generate electricity from 146 power plants and other sources of about 24,000 MW. Of this, only 8 MW is being generated from renewable sources, which is about 3 percent of the total capacity.
If Bangladesh can achieve the targets set in the NDC, the rate of power generation from renewable sources will reach 10 percent by 2030. At that time, the target has been set to double the current generation capacity to 46,000 MW.
Chairman of the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), Mohammad Alauddin, said Bangladesh has recently made significant progress in renewable energy generation and the volume of power generation from this sector will increase significantly by the end of 2021.
“By the end of December, more than 1,000 megawatts of electricity will be generated from renewable sources,” he said. Construction of some large-scale solar-powered power plants is now under implementation.
At present 9 solar powered power plants are under construction with a combined generating capacity of 450 MW. In addition, work is underway on a wind power project, which will generate 60 MW of electricity.
In addition, contracts are being signed for setting up of 12 solar powered power plants with a total generating capacity of 500 MW. Work is also underway on several more wind and biomass power plants with a combined generating capacity of 130 MW.
Khandaker Golam Moazzem, research director at the Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), said: “The pipeline is about to generate about 2,000 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources and the government is committed to securing funding from the private sector.”
He added, “The government may seek international funding at the COP-28 conference for the remaining 2,100 MW under the updated NDC.”
However, according to Moazzem, the biggest problem for Bangladesh is overcapacity. Bangladesh has to bear a significant amount of cost for unused power generation capacity.
According to a recent study by the CPD, the amount of unused capacity is 48 percent.
Moazzem added, “The government should pay special attention to flow and distribution and shut down coal-based and quick-rental power plants in phases. If this initiative is taken, opportunities will be created to use electricity generated from renewable sources.