Transfer clean tech to LDCs
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday requested developed economies to take positive actions in transferring clean technology to developing nations particularly the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Bangladesh.
“The availability of technology will help us switch from fossil fuel to clean energy option, which is crucial. Equally critical is the availability of technology at affordable price. International initiatives are needed to bridge this technology gap,” she said at the first assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Abu Dhabi.
Dipu said for a country like Bangladesh, high initial investment and lack of proper technologies are the main barriers to achieving the goals. She said the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology can play a significant role in human resource development in clean energy technology.
She said South Asia has a huge energy demand and is dependent on fossil fuel. Nuclear power is gradually becoming prominent in the power landscape. Solar, wind and other renewable energy has also potential, but to a lesser extent.
Dipu said countries like Bangladesh may be able to enhance capacity for exploring renewable energy potential with international and regional co-operation.
“Our challenges are formidable and global level collective actions are needed to face them. We must invest more on development of technologies on efficient uses of renewable sources for power,” she told the meeting.
She said “If we continue to depend on fossil fuel, we would be making irreversible damage to our ecology and bio-diversity. We must rise now and do the needful to contribute to saving our environment, a global public good.”
Dipu said despite multiple crises in the past few years, Bangladesh economy has grown at a steady rate of above 6 percent annually in the last one decade. This has created enormous demand for energy and power.
“But we could not fulfill the increasing demand. We could have easily attained growth rate of over 8 percent, had it not been constrained by energy shortages,” she said.
The foreign minister said Bangladesh has taken up a number of initiatives on alternative and renewable energy given fast diminishing fossil fuel reserve as well as harmful effects of hydro-carbon on climate change.
“We have already installed over six hundred fifty thousand solar home systems in remote and rural areas and partnering with the private sector. We are also seeking to use biomass and biogas sources.”
She said the government's goal is to create an energy mix with a good balance of hydrocarbon, with various forms of renewable energy to attain sustainable development in an environment friendly manner.
“We have significant coal reserves. But, we are faced with the challenge of employing clean coal technology,” she noted.
Dipu said the present government has been encouraging investment in renewable energy and infrastructure development by exempting the commercial production of renewable energy with a tax holiday of 15 years.
She said the government is also planning to meet 25 percent the demand from nuclear source in the near future.
However, she said “We will certainly factor in nuclear safety issues based on our experience with nuclear disasters such as Fukushima Diiichi.”