Bangladesh’s slow progress in scaling up power production from renewable sources is not only disappointing because it falls short of our pre-set targets, but it is also really holding us back in terms of international competitiveness.
The target we set in 2008 was to have 10% of our energy production come from renewable energy by 2020. With that goal in mind, our government signed several projects with private investors, some foreign and some local, to set up and produce solar and wind power.
But they are far behind schedule.
While there may be several factors causing the delay, some of it seems to be due to inefficiency on the part of private companies. Perhaps the government should, from now on, put more emphasis on vetting them before contracting out to them; for instance, do they have a good record of successfully completing their contracts on time?
So far, the local corporate giant Beximco has shown some promise, but we should be seeing more initiative and dedication from the RMG sector, which recently urged the government to provide them with a steady and price-stable power supply so they can maintain their international competitiveness.
Our power minister rightly pointed out that the RMG sector must contribute to the development of power infrastructure if it wishes to benefit from it.
And for those projects that have already taken off but not progressing, we just have to put our noses to the grindstone and actually finish what we started, so that in time we can reap the rewards.
Hopefully in time to meet our target for 2020.