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PDB wind power costs 70% higher than private producers

  • Published at 12:48 am November 25th, 2018
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Concerned authorities say, from the very beginning, Bangladesh has been spending extra money on renewable energy production by showcasing it as a new sector

The Power Development Board (PDB) is spending Tk420 million for a 2-megawatt wind power project, for which the per-unit production cost is Tk16.

On the other hand, an Indian company called Siddhanth Wind Energy Private Ltd was recently approved to build a 30-megawatt private wind power project in Sonagaji, Feni— for which the per-unit production cost is Tk9.49.

This shows that for every unit, government producers are spending Tk6.51 more than private producers.

Former Director General of Power Cell BD Rahmatullah said: "The wind turbines of the Netherlands are the best. One megawatt turbine costs Tk80 million-Tk85 million. Combined with other costs, the price of the whole project should not exceed more than Tk100 million."

Talking about the PDB's Tk420 million project, Rahmatullah said: "The roads in our country are constructed at twice the cost. It should come as no surprise if wind power projects follow the same rule."

Concerned authorities say, from the very beginning, Bangladesh has been spending extra money on renewable energy production by showcasing it as a new sector.

Government producers have been taking advantage of this, making it nearly impossible for renewable energy production to come at a low cost. 

The per-unit cost for solar energy production started at 17-19 cents, which later reduced to 10 cents over three years. If the government had taken the initiative to produce renewable energy at a lower cost, others would have taken it as an example—experts think. 

However, the current situation is the opposite—with government institutions producing energy at a higher cost, the overall price of electricity is on the rise. 

A Power Division official said: "Wind power can be produced if the wind velocity is 2.3-2.5m/sec—which in-turn increases per-unit cost. However, if energy is produced using 5-6m/sec, then wind power production can be done profitably."

With the introduction of modern technology, a single turbine can produce 6-megawatts of electricity. "In the coastal areas of Bangladesh, the wind velocity stays at 5-6m/sec, which can be used to produce wind power quite easily, experts think," said the official.

However, the wind power sector is now at risk due to the increased cost of wind power production.

Manager of Renewable Energy sector of the PDB Eng Nazmul Haque said: "We hope our wind power project will start producing from next December. Four turbines capable of producing 500-kilowatt energy will be ready.

"The PDB will spend Tk420 million to establish this project," he said. "The per-unit cost will be Tk16."

He added: "Windmills are being erected on the Sirajganj side of Jamuna Bridge. With that end in mind, we have already leased lands from the Water Development Board."