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Dhaka Tribune

Minister: Coal-based power plants Payra, Rampal, Matarbari are clean energy projects

He highlighted the significant reduction in electricity bills for those utilizing net metering

Update : 19 Jul 2023, 08:38 PM

Minister of State for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid stated that Bangladesh is focused on clean energy initiatives.

"This is an effort to combat environmental pollution. We have set a target of 20% clean energy, which is why we are emphasizing electric vehicles. The coal-based power projects in Payra, Rampal, and Matarbari are also part of our clean energy plans," he said during a discussion meeting held at Hotel Intercontinental on Wednesday.

The meeting, jointly organized by the International Growth Centre and Research and Policy Integration for Development (Rapid), aimed to discuss the challenges faced by the power and energy sector in Bangladesh.

Hamid highlighted the progress made in the power sector, stating: "In 2009, we experienced electricity load shedding for 17-20 hours. Our goal then was to increase electricity production, which was a short-term plan. We established small power plants as part of the second phase to achieve 100% electrification. We have successfully brought electricity to every household, even in isolated islands. This has improved the standard of living, and as a result, our reserves, which were below $1 billion in 2009, now stand at around $33 billion."

Regarding the capacity charge of power plants, the minister explained: "Capacity charges are a fundamental issue and serve as an investment guarantee. Such charges exist worldwide. According to Sreda research, there is an opportunity for cost-effectiveness in electricity consumption. In this regard, building designs need to be altered."

Speaking about solar power, Hamid mentioned the attractiveness of the net metering formula for customers. 

He highlighted the significant reduction in electricity bills for those utilizing net metering. 

He also addressed the risks associated with conventional lead batteries and assured that the government is working to mitigate these risks.

The panel discussion included participation from Associate Professor Atanu Rabbani from Dhaka Economic University, Assistant Professor Amrita Kundu from George Town University, Research Fellow Rohini Kamal from Brac Institute of Governance and Development, and Research Associate Shefali Khanna from London Imperial College.

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