- BANGLADESH HAS A HUGE POTENTIAL IN THE FIELD OF RENEWABLE ENERGY. THE POTENTIAL IS VERY LARGE IN THE FIELD OF SOLAR ENERGY AND BIOMASS.
- DUE TO THE POPULATION DENSITY, THE EXPANSION OF THE NATIONAL POWER GRID SHOULD BE COST-EFFECTIVE. WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANTS COULD ALSO PLAY A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE ENERGY SECTOR, AS THEIR CONSTRUCTION MAKES SENSE IN LOCATIONS WITH HIGH POPULATION DENSITY.
1. Bangladesh in the global energy markets
Bangladesh has easy access to the Indian Ocean, which facilitates trade and import of energy commodities into Bangladesh. Direct access to the Indian Ocean means that Bangladesh could potentially benefit from LNG imports, which could be an option to further diversify energy supplies from other countries.
The relationship with India is key and will also affect Bangladesh’s connectivity with regional energy markets. From the perspective of transnational electricity markets, it may make sense to integrate electricity networks more closely with India to reduce the cost of electricity per KWh for consumers. Indeed, India is probably the country that is most important for Bangladesh’s energy access, but it is not impossible for Bangladesh to achieve a greater degree of energy independence, especially with the emergence of renewable energy technologies that are playing an increasingly important role in the regional energy architecture of South and Southeast Asia.
2. Population density also reduces the cost of electricity transmission
Population density favors a national power grid because the cost of transmitting electricity from the power plant to the consumer is cheaper. The construction of the power grid requires less civil engineering work and high-voltage lines, less copper is used and material costs are reduced. As a result, the price of electricity per KWh decreases. This is a great advantage that Bangladesh possesses, especially if it continues on the path of increasing industrialization. In a scenario where Bangladesh continues to industrialize, there is a greater demand for energy resources that can either be domestically generated or imported. Either way, as industrialization increases, economies of scale in the power industry mean that the price of electricity will decrease over time. For example, once the national power grid is fully built and distribution networks are in place, the focus shifts from CAPEX to OPEX. This benefits the consumer.
The availability of land can become a problem. Land availability becomes a problem in countries with high population density. In countries with high population density, such as the Netherlands, a significant percentage of land is already used for other purposes, such as housing, industry or agriculture. Land becomes more expensive, adding to the already high cost of building electricity transmission infrastructure.
This requires new ways of urban planning to ensure that infrastructure can be built to maintain public services.
3. Biomass has significant growth potential for the energy sector in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has great potential as far as the biomass sector is concerned, as Bangladesh is located relatively close to the equator and also benefits from a very warm climate. At the same time, Bangladesh has the necessary water resources to fully benefit from new developments in the biofuel industry. Considerable efforts have been made to further the commercialization of biofuels, but their success depends primarily on the right environment in which these solutions are implemented. In Bangladesh, there are good conditions for the production of algae biofuel, which is probably the renewable liquid fuel source with the greatest potential for commercial development. This is also the case when we compare algae biofuel with other liquid fuels such as ethanol. The problem is that all other biofuel sources compete with the use of agricultural land, which makes it very difficult to implement biofuel production because we are claiming the land for food production.
4. Waste-to-energy plants to contribute to energy sector in Bangladesh
Bangladesh also has great potential for building waste-to-fuel plants of various types. Also, because of the population density, waste can be collected much more easily and taken to a central location for further recycling and processing. Various waste fractions can be incinerated to generate heat and electricity. The heat generated can even be used for cooling systems, while the electricity will find a variety of uses. This can easily be combined with rooftop solar panels, which is a nice addition. Both solutions in combination should be a boon to power grids for large urban centers like Dhaka.
Bangladesh has a variety of energy options to make the nation more energy independent. This is relative, as it will be necessary to import certain energy commodities such as oil and gas from abroad. There may even be an option to focus more on LNG supplies, which could be a more environmentally friendly way to supply energy to industry and commerce. Energy supplies can be further enriched by providing renewable energy solutions to consumers in the form of solar and biomass energy.