Md. Joynal Abdin and Engineer Md. Abu Taleb
The Financial Express on July 13, 2009
With no alternative to create employment, industrialisation needs steady power supply. Infrastructure, quick processing of investment proposals by government agencies, hassle-free other utilities, stable political environment, business friendly monetary and fiscal policy and good law and order are all important issues in this connection.
The transformation of night into the day and vice versa brought some positive results in saving electricity but with a negative impact on retail business. The state should not take any initiative to facilitate one segment by harming another.
The government had, at least, two alternative options to meet the demand with the existing generation capacity. First, it could take the initiative to ensure 100 per cent use of energy saving lamps by domestic and commercial consumers to save up to 90 per cent of what is now wasted.
Now most rural and sub-urban houses use 50-100 watt bulbs when six to ten watt energy saving bulb would provide the same light. It would save at least eighty per cent of electricity spent for lighting throughout the country.
The government should ban the use of filament bulbs. It can facilitate duty-free import of energy saving lamps and cheaper domestic production by providing subsidy and duty-free import of the raw materials to bring down the prices
Secondly, Bangladesh can save 20 per cent of industrial electricity consumption by establishing capacity bank in each industry. A capacity bank in a circuit can be set up between the national grid and the factory meter, to regulate voltage and ensure optimum use of electricity.
The saving from domestic and industrial consumption would make the existing generation more or less enough to meet the current shortfall.
On July 5 last the peak demand of electricity was 4400 MW against the generation of 3865 MW left a deficit of 535 MW or between 12.159 per cent and 12.5 per cent.
If 70 per cent of the total consumption is taken by industry and 30 per cent by domestic users. 2705 MW is consumed by industrial consumers. Saving of 20 per cent industrial consumption would leave 541 MW for alternative use. Similarly, domestic users can spare 928 MW of electricity by using energy saving bulbs to save 80 per cent of power they now consume.
So, by banning the use of filament bulbs, using energy saving light and setting up a capacity bank, Bangladesh can save 1469 MW of electricity (541+928) per day. This would be worse than the shortfall of 535 MW. In fact it leaves a surplus of (1469-535) 934 MW of electricity from the existing production.
At the same time, by increasing the brightness of the LED lights with support from China and Japan, in research, Bangladesh can achieve a revolution in saving energy.