Renewable energy: Solar and wind power are not a threat to environmental pollution
By Zeba Tarannum
Bangladesh: The country will start production of several solar power plants in a few months. A few more centers are working hard. Apart from this, the plan for a wind power plant has come a long way. In all, the share of renewable energy in the power sector will increase in the next few years.
At present, a total of 23 renewable power plants are under construction at different stages. The combined generation capacity of these centers is about 1,550 MW.
There is no risk of environmental pollution in solar and wind power. The cost per unit of solar power is also reducing. Now the cost of producing solar power is lower than that of fuel oil.
So renewable energy is now getting extra attention. On the contrary, the government is signaling a move away from building a coal power plant with a vast production capacity.
However, if the government’s plan had implemented in time, the country would have generated much more renewable energy-based power by now.
In 2010, the government made a master plan for electricity with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan’s development partner. The plan called for 10 percent of the country’s total electricity generation from renewable energy by 2021, but that did not happen.
Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy, and Mineral Resources, said that the government had allowed many private companies to build power plants to increase power generation from renewable energy. Due to the complexity of the land, they could not implement the project in time.
Now the government itself has plans to build solar and wind power plants. In the future, large power plants based on renewable energy will come.
The power generation in the country is now more than 20,000 MW. In this ratio, 2,000 megawatts of electricity expect to generate from renewable energy. But now the generating capacity of the solar power plant is only 63 MW.
There are 20 MW in Teknaf, 25 MW in Raozan, 3 MW in Sarishabari of Jamalpur, 8 MW in Panchagarh, and 7 MW in Kaptai solar power plants. These centers have come into production in the last few years.
There is no wind power plant now, and there is a hydropower station in Bangladesh. It is the Kaptai hydropower project built during the Pakistan period. Its generating capacity is 230 MW.
Since 2010, the Ministry of Power has permitted more than 40 power plants based on renewable energy. Now the permission of 23 centers is valid. Consent revoked as the rest could not work on time. Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) have been signed with 11 permitted renewable energy centers.
The demand for electricity in the country is met by installing solar systems in homes and offices. As per the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA), Bangladesh has about 5.8 million solar power or solar home systems. About 400 MW of electricity comes from this.
Centers in which work has progressed
It is almost sure that two new solar power plants will come into production this year. One is the Government Northwest Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL) of 7.5 MW center.
It has built on the bank of the river Jamuna in Sirajganj, and it could come into production next month—another in Mymensingh, with a generating capacity of 50 MW.
Solar Power Plant is constructing by the Bangladeshi company IFDC in a joint venture with Malaysia-based Ditrolic Solar. Its construction is also in the final stages.
Two solar power plants under construction at Mongla in Bagerhat and Sonagazi in Feni, with a generating capacity of 100 MW, could come into production next year. Mongla solar power plant is under construction by Energon Technologies FZE of the United Arab Emirates and China Sanerji Company Limited.
The Feni solar power plant is under construction by Metito Utilities Ltd. of the United Arab Emirates, jinko power technology. Ltd of China, and Jomaiya Energy and Water Company of Saudi Arabia.
Construction of two solar power centers, a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Sirajganj and a 65-megawatt solar power plant on the banks of the Padma River at Ramkantpur in Sujanagar, Pabna, by a joint venture of Northwest Power Generation Company of Bangladesh and Chinese state-owned company CMC, has come a long way.
Meanwhile, Northwest and CMC have taken the initiative to build a 200 MW wind power plant at Payra in Patuakhali. A feasibility study was completed for this.
According to the Power Division, the average wind speed required for a wind power plant is 2.5 meters per second. It found more than 4 meters in the Payra. Northwest and CMC want to complete the construction of the Payra wind power plant by next year.