A decreasing volume of annual natural gas production from the gas fields of Bangladesh means that the country is moving towards joining the net energy importers club sooner than one would have liked to think.
Bangladesh had its first gas field discovery in Sylhet in 1955. Since then, a total of 27 commercial gas fields have been found in the country with a cumulative original recoverable gas reserve of 28 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), according to Petrobangla official estimates.
The government’s plan, as reported in the media, to reduce the number of coal-based power plants and thus the amount of power to be generated using coal, brings relief to the concerns of environmentalists, scientists and the general public who have been campaigning against major coal use due to the danger it poses to the environment and human health.
The pace at which renewable energy including solar and wind is being developed worldwide suggests that these will overtake the fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) as dominant sources in power generation in a shorter time frame than previously forecasted. In mid-1990s renowned energy experts predicted that oil, gas and coal will remain the predominant fuel for power generation until 2030.
In Bangladesh today there are visible plans of a changed landscape in the energy and power sectors. In fact, the country stands at a crossroads of major transition from an underdeveloped energy sector to a more developed one—from a mainly local gas-based mono-energy status to multiple sources in the energy mix.