Captive power generation
The BSS report published by many dailies on 8th July on the matter relating to reduction of renewal fee by BERC for captive power plants is a positive step in the right direction, and a welcome move. Since most captive power plants are sized to the individual power needs of the user, setting a flat rate is rather unfair. A possible solution could be a minimum fee of say Tk. 2500 calculated say at Tk100 per KW of generator rating. This will be different for each unit, based on its own generation capacity required.
However, the Regulatory Commission's statement that captive generators produce a total of 1800 MW is possibly inaccurate. The installed captive generation capacity could well be 1800 MW in Bangladesh; but they generate only to the extent needed. Many of these are stand-by units, and run only when public power supply fails! Therefore captive power plants do not generate 1800 MW all the time; as meant by the report.
Given the depressing gas supply scenario where we have a fertilizer factory kept shut, to divert natural gas for power generation; the situation is quite precarious! Shortage of natural gas, a common fuel for captive power generation should lead us to look elsewhere for captive power sources.
Renewable energy options like solar, wind and even refuse based power generation needs to be rapidly exploited. Our government should provide all possible incentives, like easy financial loan and duty free provision for this as well as equipment needed to improve energy efficiency for our existing capital equipment in industries must be taken up at the earliest. Tomorrow is too late for this action.