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    Biogas needs increasing attention in national budget

Md. Gofran,Chairman, Bangladesh Biogas Development Foundation (BBDF)
Biogas needs increasing attention in national budget

According to Power Cell, on 13 March 2018 total power production in Bangladesh was 16,046MW andper capita power consumption was 433kWh. Ninety percent of the people are enjoying electricity. Renewable energy share is 446MW including 230MW from hydro. Dependency on natural gas also reduced to a great extent. Undoubtedly, success of energy sector is notable. Yet, till today, power production considerably depends on natural gas, reserves of which is alarmingly depleting. In 26 gas fields, total proved reserve is 20.77TCF, of which 13.52TCF has been used upto December 2015. Considering present annual consumption of 1TCF, the remaining gas will be exhausted within next decade. It clearly indicates that, the country is going to face a serious energy crisis. Searching renewable is the only option.After energy crisis in 1973, world leaders, experts, researchers and stakeholders started thinking of alternative sources. Scientists started working on renewable, government of different countries declared national policy, legislative support and made administrative reforms. Consequently, globally, a silent transition is going on from conventional to renewable Renewable are getting increasing attention all over the world. Technologies are improving rapidly, costs are going down and thus renewable are becoming more attractive to the common people. Environmental issues are getting increasing attention after Rio conference 1992. Renewable being environment friendly, getting special attention on environmental considerations. According to REN 21, renewable contributed 19.3% of the global total energy in 2015. In 2016 about 62% of the world’s newly added power came from renewable. World renewable energy capacity reached 921GW in 2016 including 112GW from bio-power. 176 countries now have renewable energy policy, 110 countries have feed-in tariff. In COP22, 48 countries have declared 100% renewable target.
Realizing the fact, government of Bangladesh declared National Renewable Energy Policy in 2008, has set its target to achieve 10% energy share from renewable by 2020 and established Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) in 2014 to implement the policy. In order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal SDG, government has set its target to ensure electricity for all by 2021. By this time SREDA has taken several steps to promote renewable energy technologies in Bangladesh. Considering multiple benefits of biogas technology, SREDA has taken initiatives to develop a guideline for biogas to electricity.Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources (MPEMR) is responsible for energy sector. Government is giving high priority to the energy sector and giving substantial amount for this sector every year. But, the ministry is spending almost all the money for conventional energy and giving huge subsidy.
It may be stated here that, realizing the importance of biogas technology, many countries are giving priority to the technology. At present, there are about 45 million biogas plants in China, 5 million biogas plants in India, 400,000 plants in Nepal, 500,000 plants in Vietnam. During last two decades, biogas technology is getting increasing attention in European countries. There are now about 20,000 large size biogas plants generating more than 10,000MW power, running compressed biogas (CBG) stations for using as vehicle fuel. They are running trains with biogas.Germany alone is producing about 5000MW power using biogas. The reason behind success of Germany is that, they have passed Electricity Act in 1991 keeping attractive provision for renewable including biogas. In 2000, Germany has passed their Renewable Energy Act, which is updating regularly. They declared extra benefits for using city waste, energy crop, industrial wastes etc for producing biogas. In some places, they inject purified biogas to national pipeline and gives extra benefit to encourage the practice.In Bangladesh also, biogas technology is getting increasing. At present, there are now about 115,000 biogas plants in the country, of which IDCOL(M/O Finance) constructed about 50,000, BCSIR(M/O Science) constructed about 30,000, DYD(M/O Youth) constructed about 17,000 biogas plants. There are about 400 biogas run generators in the country, of which about 200 installed by RDA. The saddest storey is that, the ministry, who is enjoying 100% energy budget, did not yet construct a single biogas plants. The reason may be, either they do not know about biogas technology or they are not interested in biogas technology.Our national budget for the year 2018-2019 is going to be announced soon. It is necessary to earmark at least 15% of the energy budget for renewable and establish a unit under SREDA for the implementation of the project.Biogas having multiple benefits and huge potential may be one of the options towards energy solution. All hazardous waste are the raw materials of biogas production. Anaerobic process of biogas production kills pathogens, reduces diseases and improves environment. Climate of Bangladesh is suitable for biogas production.

This article has been printed under a syndication arrangement with energy and power


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