Friday, 9 June, 2023

Ensure stable supply of gas & electricity

Ensure stable supply of gas & electricity

In spite of commissioning of a series of large power plants, some small and medium gas-fired power plants, having a combined capacity of generating 226.55 MW of electricity, sought three to five years of extension, according to a Daily Sun business-page report. It comes against the backdrop of dwindling gas supply in the country and unstable power supplies despite achieving massive progress in increasing power generation capacity. Moreover, some of the coal and diesel-fired power plants are not being operated to their fullest capacity due to price hikes of the raw materials in the international market. Therefore, the government will have to take decisions regarding the small and medium gas-fired power plants’ appeal for extension taking the overall electricity generation into consideration and keeping in mind the need for ensuring stable supply of electricity.

The country’s dwindling reserve of national gas is also a major concern as it is a finite resource. Presently, the country is facing a severe gas crisis and the authorities are grappling to ensure a balanced distribution of this resource among the consuming sectors that include household, transport, industrial and power generation.

As per as distribution of natural gas is concerned, we are at a crossroads, and there is no other way around except trying to ensure a balanced distribution of this natural resource in an optimal way. Exploration for new gas field should be a continuous process. The fact that a number of gas fields have been discovered in quick succession in Bhola is an indication that the Bay of Bengal is a potential reservoir of mineral resources. So, it should be properly utilised. The government should also explore alternative renewable energy – solar, biogas – without depleting all underground resources for one generation.

Besides, there are reports of rampant misuse of gas lines and widespread pilfering of gas, which happens often in collaboration of corrupt energy officials and political strongmen. The authorities concerned must check this and should also come out with a mechanism to check wastage of gas at household level due to inefficient use.