As Bangladesh steps into its 50th year of independence, it’s time to recap on its achievements, primarily in the Energy sector. The power sub-sector has also been developing at an accelerated pace for the last 12 years. Prior to Awami League taking office in 2009, the power generation capacity was also growing but at a snail’s pace. It was even slower than the electricity demand growth, and almost entirely dependent on domestic primary fuel resources, mainly natural gas.
By adopting necessary policy interventions, the government drive to increase power generation yielded expected results. This however, has come at an increase price since primary fuel supply has diversified to more expensive imports to supplant dwindling natural gas reserves. The nagging question of captive power generation is one of some of the pressing issues that still needs addressing.
Experts and policymakers at a recent discussion reached a general consensus that it is time to prioritize affordability of energy supply. The fuel mix requires restructuring through moving away from import-dependence to greater utilization of local resources, onshore and offshore natural gas exploration and to renewables to a lesser degree.