June 16, 2020 Read More →

Bangladesh budget offers little help for renewable energy sector

Financial Express:

The renewable energy sector has received a ‘very cold’ response from the government in the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, stakeholders say.

Apart from granting value-added tax (VAT) exemption on solar battery production, they said, the sector got no other facilities.

“To encourage the environment-friendly solar energy sector, I propose to provide VAT exemption on up to 60 AMP solar battery production for partner organisations of Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL),” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said in his budget speech on Thursday.

He also said the government is laying emphasis on solar energy-based electricity aiming to enhance the contribution of renewable energy to 10 per cent of total power generation.

“We have so far been able to generate 628 megawatts of power from renewable energy, and power plants of a combined generation capacity of 1,221 megawatts are either under construction or in the planning process.”

To make power generation and its use sustainable, the minister said, the government also has taken up plans to install solar panels on the rooftop of every educational institution in the country.

In addition, Mr. Kamal said, electricity has been provided to the people living in off-grid areas through the installation of 5.8 million solar home systems.

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Global think-tank Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) last month suggested that Bangladesh should lower its dependence on fossil fuel-based power and give importance on low-cost renewable energy.

“Bangladesh needs to consider regaining control of its power sector by renegotiating coal and LNG plants to more appropriate, modular renewable energy – without capacity payments – and grid investments to meet lower demand growth,” it said and added, “This would reduce the overall system cost while improving domestic energy security and resilience.” 

[Syful Islam]

More: Renewables ‘neglected’ in proposed budget

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