Energy experts and economists here on Thursday called for prioritising environmental issues while taking energy projects by the nations in the South Asia and South East Asia region.While presenting the summary of the participants’ recommendations, BIISS director general Major General Abdur Rahman pointed out the issue.
“For sustainable energy development as well as ensuring optimum use of energy resources in the regional countries, environmental considerations should be prioritised,” he said referring to the discussants’ suggestions.
The Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIIS) organised the conference titled: Energy Security in South Asia Plus: Relevance Experience” which was attended by energy experts and economists from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Japan.
Prime Minister’s Advisor Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury attending the concluding session as the chief guest said Bangladesh-India has already entered a bilateral deal to cooperate each other in the energy sector as part of regional cooperation.
He said Bangladesh and Indian have been drawing many initiatives on the energy fields including LNG terminal setup and cross border power trading.
Supporting the idea of regional cooperation, he said it will reduce the risk in energy sector and enhance energy security by making the nations inter-dependent for various energy sources.
Emphasising harnessing renewable energy sources, Tawfiq-e-Elahi said Bangladesh has now targeted to increase the number of solar home systems (SHS) from 3.5 million to 6 million.
“This programme has already been marked as the world’s largest one which is greater to cover the populations of two or three European nations,” he said.
Laying utmost priority to energy efficiency, he said the government has decided to make it mandatory for the captive power producers to enhance their efficiency to 60 percent.
The private captive power generators have to increase the efficiency by introducing co-generation or tri-generation technology to their plants.
Presently, most of the captive power generations are running on maximum 30 percent efficiency which is considered to be most inefficient in terms of energy consumption.
State Minister for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam said inter-relationship of the countries in the region should be intensified in order to promote the regional cooperation for energy
Addressing the function, Japanese Ambassador Masato Watanabe said Japan had to close down its nuclear power plants on emergency basis following the Fukusima disaster. These plants were producing 30 percent of the total electricity.
“But despite that Japan did not face any problem as Japanese people were cooperating in saving energy by energy efficiency efforts,” he added.
The conference’s other recommendations include promoting private sector involvement in energy projects, comprehensive study in the region for assessing risks of nuclear power plants, diversifying energy sources, exploring capital investment in energy sector, regional initiative for human resource development fore energy sector and sharing Japanese experience in energy efficiency.