Phasing out coal-based power plants

25 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

We heartily welcome the government’s decision to scrap 10-coal-fired power plants having a combined capacity to generate 9346 megawatts (MW) of electricity. A top official of the power division was quoted in this daily yesterday saying that they have received approval from the Prime Minister’s Office on June 21 for scrapping the coal-powered projects. This is indeed a step in the right direction and it couldn’t have come earlier.

The decision will certainly come as a relief to the environmentalists, scientists and the conscious people who have been voicing concerns against the implementation of coal-based power plants. But overall it will bring win-win outcomes for all of us because coal poses grave danger to the environment and public health.

Considering the negative impact of coal, countries across the world are gradually phasing out coal-fired power plants. Even our neighbouring India has a plan to close its last coal power plant by 2050. Bangladesh too can do away with this form of dirty energy.

According to a power division report, Bangladesh will produce 17,000 megawatts of surplus electricity by 2030 even after the scrapping of some coal-fired plants. It said the electricity generation will reach 48,878MW by 2030 whereas the contribution from the coal-fired plants will be around 13,959MW. If the government scraps some coal-fired plants, the part of electricity generation from coal-fired plants will shrink to 26 per cent from the existing 30 per cent.

But still there is a long way to go because other forms of fossil fuels such as gas or furnace oil which are being used to generate power are not environment friendly as well. So, we think the government should focus more on harnessing renewable energy sources.

Electricity generation is one of the focus areas of the government and it has a plan to electrifying every home in the country in near future, which is commendable. But in the process of increasing our power generation capacity rapidly, we must not endanger the environment and biodiversity.