Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) said that to tackle the ongoing fossil-fuel-based power and energy crisis, the country needs to prioritize the use of renewable energy and to emphasize on gas exploration and extraction efforts.
It has urged the government to put emphasis on gas exploration in order to reduce the over-dependence on imported fossil fuel and better utilize the existing solar-based power infrastructure.
The CPD revealed it during a press conference titled “Slowdown in global economy and challenges for Bangladesh: How to tackle?” held in its Dhaka office on Thursday (20 October).
As per CPD the country’s energy and power sector confront multiple challenges – both short and medium-term in nature however it says that there are chances to reduce the power crisis through some additional power from India.
The civil society institution noted that the power plants which are currently under construction (3384MW) are highly unlikely to come into operation due to shortages of energy supply thus the power generation and supply crisis is likely to continue unless sufficient fuel supply is ensured.
Even though the power crisis may be eased in the medium term, the long-term tension will continue as the added generation capacity is mainly import-based, putting a huge burden of capacity payment on the shoulder of the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), CPD added.
As the global oil prices are declining over time, BPC should consider a downward revision of oil (diesel, octane, petroleum) prices, it recommended.
Measures taken by the government to ease the current energy crisis are more suitable for the “short-term” and in some cases are “not consistent” – CPD said adding that government steps in this regard need to be properly monitored and reviewed.
Data on maximum power generation and load shedding seem to be unreliable and misleading as they do not reflect reality. If the global energy prices (oil and LNG) do not drop, the government should be prepared to spend a significant portion of the forex reserve on energy imports.
CPD also suggested the government look for long-term loans from the IMF, WB and IDB.