Give up LNG, go for coal

Staff Correspondent

14th September, 2020 10:20:54 printer

Give up LNG, go for coal

Centre for Policy dialogue (CPD) has suggested the government to go for renewable energy revising its current plan to shift from coal-fired power plants to LNG-based plants.   

With the LNG-based plant, the think tank said, the core objective of the shifting from coal plants --safeguarding the environment -- won’t be achieved.

It also called for immediate actions to renegotiate with the donor agencies and investors of coal-fired power plants to transform their projects into renewable energy ones.          

“The government is thinking about setting up LNG-based power plants as an alternative to coal-fired plant which is not a pragmatic solution from cost and environment point of view," commented CPD research director Dr Golam Moazzem in a virtual press briefing on Monday.

The local think tank organised the briefing styled: “Abandoning Coal in Power Generation: Govt's Initiative and Some Suggestions.”

He said the government has already started thinking to revise the power sector master plan (PSMP) and is contemplating to stop implementing some coal power plants now in pipeline.

Prime Minister's approval has been sought for abandoning the 22 coal-based power plants having 23,236MW capacity, he informed.

CPD also sought a downward revision to the existing Power System Master Plan (PSMP) 2016 as the existing overcapacity of power generation stands at 37 percent.

"In our calculation, it will be 47 percent in 2041. Even it may go up to 50 percent at that time when the country's generation will reach 60,000MW as per PSMP," Dr Moazzem said. 

Dr Moazzem said a maximum 15 percent overcapacity as reserve margin is kept as standard in power generation in developing countries while Bangladesh kept it at 25 percent.

"This is unrealistic. But now that limit has crossed and it has been creating a huge cost-burden on the state," he said, venting frustration.  

CPD suggested increasing renewable energy’s stake in the PSMP with an increased focus on this alternative source of energy.

As an argument in favour of renewable energy, CPD said the cost of renewable energy, especially solar power, is coming down fast and it has already been proven to be the least costly with its growing efficiency level.

Solar power's efficiency level is found to be 47 percent in laboratory test, which will increase further in future, according to CPD.

The government has taken a number of solar projects, but only a few of them were implemented while there is a plan to generate 1,552MW power from renewable energy by 2041.

Bangladesh as a chairman of Climate Vulnerable Forum made a commitment to generate 100 percent electricity from renewable energy by 2050, Moazzem said.

However, the government current policy and priority doesn’t suggest that the commitment will be achievable, he stated, also calling for policy support to promote renewable energy.

CPD Executive Director Dr Famida Khatun and distinguished fellow Dr Mustafizur Rahman also spoke on the occasion.