The Future of Wind Energy in Bangladesh in The Windfair Newsletter

Special thanks to Muhammad Zamir for his insights into a fast developing wind energy market. Mr. Zamir is former ambassador and Chairman of the Bangladesh Renewable Energy Society and an analyst specializing in foreign affairs.

The Future of Wind energy in BangladeshThe Future of Wind energy in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, renewable energy represents 1.5 per cent of the country’s total power consumption at present. Available data indicates that we have more than 1.3 million solar home systems (thanks to IDCOL and 29 other NGOs) in place and more than 45,000 bio-gas plants in use. Policy planners are using the present implementation curve to forecast that by 2020 the share of renewable energy consumption within the national matrix will reach above 10 per cent. It has also been suggested that Bangladesh will need $ 3.0 to 4.0 billion to offset the cost. Multilateral donor agencies like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank are being approached as potential investors in this endeavour.

The Power Division has already prepared a country paper pertaining to Bangladesh’s future sustainable use of renewable energy. This has been discussed with the UNDP in response to a request by the UN Secretary General under his ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ programme. Wind energy as another potential source also needs to be brought within this equation. It should be noted that Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International have carried out serious research over the past two years and they have come to the conclusion that wind power is likely to supply up to 12 per cent of global electricity by 2020, create 1.4 million new jobs and reduce CO2 emissions by more than 1.5 billion tons per year (about five times today’s level).

We have already put in place use of wind energy in our coastal area. It has been more of a trial venture based on exploiting available wind flow at heights of around 25 meters. Careful studies have since been carried out and renewable energy experts have now come to the conclusion that the existing design has to be modified and use of wind currents at heights over 50 meters addressed. Experiments already carried out in this regard have been successful.

The government needs to seriously consider what is happening elsewhere in the world, seek the appropriate advanced technology and urgently try to replicate this valuable process in our country, particularly in the rural coastal areas in the south, south-west and south-east. Additional power would generate employment opportunities, reduce dependence on diesel oil (used extensively for irrigation) and reduce poverty.

In this context, it is heartening to know that the Bangladesh Power Development Board has initiated steps through the signing of a contract with ReGen Powertech to complete a wind map for Cox’s Bazar, Kutubdia, Khepupara, Feni and Chittagong. This should enable us to find the right spot to tap into wind energy.


Muhammad Zamir
Muhammad Zamir

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