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23 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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Environmental demand of energy sector in Bangladesh

Recently the wind power is also trying to be commercialized in the market. Among all these energy sources, we must say water, wind and solar energy are renewable energy sources and we can depend on them for the future
Polin Kumar Saha and Irin Afrin Lopa
Environmental demand of energy 
sector in Bangladesh

advancement has brought revolutionary changes in lifestyle and national economy with overwhelming power generation over the nature. Towards following the more access of energy production, protection of environment has become a major concern of the country. Air pollution is increasing with this race of the development.Among all the vulnerable resources in our nature,air is being polluted mainly by the conventional ways of energy production with vehicle emission, industrial discharge andburning of fossil fuel, or non-renewable resources etc.

Power Generation is one of the major key components for enhancement of economic activities of the country. The Government of Bangladesh has indicated inthe motto of “Vision 2041” that the nation will be emerged as one of the developed nations by 2041. To achieve Vision 2041, the increase of Power Generation will play a vital role wheredifferent Government, Semi-Government and Private Organizations need to be contributing towards the enhancement of power generation capacity of the country.

In Bangladesh, the major sources (more than 60%) of our energy come from natural gas based power plant, which is obviously non-renewable energy source, and use of this raw material in the power plant cannot be sustainable in the long run.Other sources of our energy include Furnace oil, Diesel, Coal, Water, Solar, and some imported power. Recently the wind power is also trying to be commercialized in the market. Among all these energy sources, we must say water, wind and solar energy are renewable energy and we can depend on these energy sources for the future. We are also at an immature stage in initiating power plant by using our hazardous wastes, or biomass, which is certainly good thinking for our sustainability management in the energy sector. On the other hand, the energy from fuel, natural gas or coal resources is not environment friendly for our nature. But our public and private entrepreneurship is still growing on the basis of coal mining while they are deliberately avoiding the environmental impactsof such a power plant. The coal based power plant produces electricity by burning coal in a broiler to heat water to produce steam. The steam in a tremendous pressure, flows to the turbine which spins a generator and produce electricity. The steam is cooled, condensed back into water and return to the broiler to start the process over. In each year a typical (500 MW) coal power plant creates more than around 125000 tons of ash and around 200000 tons of smoke from the stack which causes air, water, soil pollution, and degrade our ecological (both aquatic and terrestrial fauna & flora) habitat.

Bangladesh has experienced in air pollution since 2010. Bangladesh has been listed as the second top worst country in curbing environmental pollution. Air pollution is increasinggradually due to overgrowth of population and development of industrial sector. Burning coal for electricity generation releases toxic elements i.e. SOx, NOx, CO and small particulate matter (PM10& PM2.5). Not only this, the required imported coal will be carried out by marine vessel in the future coal based plant,which is a source of above mentioned pollutants. Air pollutants are increasing our breathing problem withtheshort and long term health effects onlungs and heart diseases as well. High level of SO2 can lead to acid rain, which may damage crops, forests, soils, lakes and degrade the environment and ecosystem.

Most of the development projects produce impacts or changes in the state of natural environment. Of which some are positive and some are negative. Similarly, positive and negative impacts have been identified for the coal based power plant project. Although, DoE (Department of Environment) guideline for industries (1995) and environmental pollution in compliance with ECA 1995 have been sorted out many problems related to industrial and development projects. Asian Development Bank guidelines (1993) have also included industrial rules and regulations. These guidelines help to ascertain the potential impacts arise from coal power plant.

Therefore, we have to change our mindsets from traditional electricity that relies heavily on fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas. Those are not only harmful to the environment but also limited resources.However, if we have to depend some more time on the existing traditional power plants, then we must consider Chimney height’s standard and incorporating modern equipment strictly. Public awareness programs can also be very helpful to mitigate air pollution caused by the power plant. Collecting a fixed amount of fees on air pollution can also be an effective way as a solution of minimizing environmental crime in this sector. Like, if any parameter exceeds its standard level govt. can impose a certain amount of fees on each unit of those parameters.

Solar power can be anevidence based trend in renewable and sustainable energy. This power plant project termed as an environment friendly initiative because it does not generate any pollutant or effluent. There is no thermal plume except a minor heat produced in the panels.

No water would be required for cooling or electricity generation except a very small quantum to be needed for periodical PV panel cleaning which is also non-consumptive.Government of Bangladeshmust think about environmentally friendly and sustainable energy sources for our future generations. We should gradually step behind to implement coal based power plant in deferent locations of the country to ensure uninterrupted and quality supply of electricity.

Despite having all kinds of challenges, several more laws can repeatedly be revised for the better outcome.Finally, for sustainable development of our country, this is an appeal to everyone to step forward against pollution and save the environment before it’s too late.

The writers are environmmentalists

polin@eecsbd.com; itph.lopa@isotechgrp.com

 

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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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