Hailing a government decision to scrap 10 planned coal power plants, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has called for specific steps to increase investment in renewable energy instead of LNG or fuel-based plants.
“TIB welcomes the government decision of not to implement 10 coal power plants taken in view of negative impacts of climate change and fund mobilization issues,” TIB said in a statement on Saturday.The Berlin-based graft watchdog’s statement came after the Daily Sun on Thursday ran the news on the decision to scrap 10 coal-based power plants.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid will hold a press briefing today to provide more details on the cancellation of the coal projects. TIB, in its statement, expressed concern over the decision of increasing investment in LNG-based power projects.
TIB sought more investment in renewable energy to ensure cent per cent renewable power by 2050 in line with national and international commitments.
“The decision can be considered as a return to good sense. We want to believe that the government will put more efforts on implementing national and international commitments, including Paris Pact, for cent per cent energy generation from renewable sources,” said TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman.
He also hoped that the government will come up with a specific announcement in its upcoming revised power sector master plan for a full shift from coal power.
The scrapped 10 power plants’ total capacity is 9,347 megawatts. However, the government will advance with its 19 other coal power plants, of which eight plants, including Rampal, Matarbari and Mirsarai, are at the implementation stage.Media reports suggest that government wants to generate 10,000MW to 12,000MW power from these under-construction power plants.
Highlighting the issue, the TIB boss said: “It is a matter of grave concern that the government seeks to generate one-fourth of its targeted power from coal-based plants.”
On the other hand, the government wants to replace the cancelled plants with expensive LNG-based and fuel oil-based plants, which will make the country one of the most carbon-emitting countries in Asia by 2030, Dr Iftekharuzzaman warned.
TIB is frustrated that the government has not yet announced any particular road map for renewable energy-based power generation although it has a plan to generate 20,000MW power from renewable energy, the statement said.
Now, the government is producing only 730MW or 3.47 per cent of the country’s total power generation from renewable energy even though there was a target for raising its share to 10 per cent by 2020, TIB added.
It sees a lack of proper government steps in ensuring enough investment in renewable energy to achieve the target although the cost of this type of power generation is gradually on the decline.
Apart from a specific road map for renewable power generation, TIB also emphasized ensuring transparency, accountability and integrity in the energy sector.