Electricity generation is one of the focus areas of the government and it has a plan to electrify every home in the country by 2018. So far, it is estimated that around 80 per cent people can avail themselves of electric facility. In order to electrify the remaining households in this election year, the government has moved to install solar home systems, solar mini-grids and solar irrigation pumps in 300 constituencies. A sizeable allocation of fund is being made to members of parliament to implement this project in their respective constituencies. No doubt it is a praiseworthy initiative, but one can only hope that MPs will implement the project sincerely.
That said, it is a disquieting fact that the country’s vast renewable energy potential remains largely untapped. The government has the target of generating 2,000-MW electricity by 2021 from renewable energy source, which is to be 10 per cent of total power production. The target was set keeping sunray as the prime source of renewable energy. But so far the achievement has been below the mark.The government, however, has given approval for setting up a series of solar power plants but most of them are held up mainly because of the complexity in land acquisition. Setting up solar power plant requires vast acres of land and it is a big challenge in a densely populated country like Bangladesh. A bulk of the country’s land is used for agriculture, habitation and industrialisation.
The government can solve the problem by leasing out barren lands in Char and coastal areas, Chittagong Hill Tracts and other parts of the country for solar power projects.
The country is almost solely dependent on fossil fuels to generate power. But power generation through natural gas and furnace oil is unsustainable because these are finite resources and costly as well. So, tapping the sources of renewable energy is the best way out.