Access of Bangladeshis to electricity has gone up from 3.0 per cent of the population to 77.9 per cent since independence. Also absolute number will most likely grow in the years ahead, in keeping pace with industrial growth, rising population and increasing rate of energy consumption.
In order to meet growing energy needs, while not destroying the environment, we are slowly trying to switch over to renewable sources. We have also started building our first nuclear power plant, and thinking of newer ways to generate more energy for residential and commercial use.
And to keep up with the energy consumption rate of the fourth industrial revolution, we need to be prudent and employ much of our focus and make investment in the energy sector.
Recently, Chinese and Japanese investors showed lack of interest in funding Bangladesh’s coal ventures, prompting the government to consider retreating from coal power. There are talks to turn the coal power plants of Bangladesh into LNG-run power plants. But the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) predicts that this transition would lead to tremendous energy overcapacity, making an already bad situation worse.
For these reasons, clean coal technology doesn’t seem like a very realistic solution for future Bangladesh. But, if natural gas reserves deplete at the current rate, and we don’t create enough alternative power sources by then, coal would be the only option left, and that’s why we need to invest in the research of clean coal technology at least as a failsafe.