12:00 AM, May 09, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Diversify power sources: US official

Diversify power sources: US official

Abdullah Mamun
Robert Ichord
Robert Ichord

Bangladesh should generate power from diversified resources to meet the growing demand and achieve the target of electricity for all by 2021, said a top US official.
"The country should not just produce the electricity; it should use the power in efficient ways too," said Robert F Ichord Jr, deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Energy Resources in the US.
Bangladesh government's vision to provide electricity for all by 2021 is very ambitious, while the global target is by 2030, he said.
He discussed various aspects of power generation with reporters at the American Club in Dhaka yesterday.
Ichord is responsible for promoting the transformation of energy systems to achieve greater efficiency and cleaner performance through use of market forces and innovative financing approaches. He said natural gas is the dominant resource for Bangladesh for power generation, and the country should explore onshore and offshore gas mines.
Though power generation through coal has environment concerns, there are efficient technologies to produce electricity with low carbon emissions, he said.
"Nuclear power plant is a difficult and very expensive option for Bangladesh, which needs $5-$7 billion and has security concerns too," he said.
Ichord, however, said the best option for rural electrification in Bangladesh is the use of renewable energy.
Solar home systems will have to be used commercially, where Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL) is a very good example in Bangladesh, he said.
He said Bangladesh has immense potential in solar energy. "Rural people now want more renewable energy, as it has become cheaper than before," he said.
He said Bangladesh should not subsidise power anymore, rather the government should focus on its efficient use. He said his office is trying its best to bring more renewable energy investors from the US to Bangladesh.
"Bangladesh should create a level playing field for such investors," he said.



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