Renewable Energy is the hottest trend at present. Not only does it provide an alternative source of power without the presence of expensive cost, it is also abundant in nature. One could just install solar panels on their garage doors to harness solar energy, and transform it into the power that could be used to light the household. Very accessible and easy. Not to mention, cheaper in a long run.
One of the main barriers prevailing renewable energy technologies introduction in Bangladesh is the information barrier. Decision makers, educational institutions and local companies have so far little or no access to information about Renewable Energy (RE), their prospects, economics and technology. The Renewable Energy Information Network (REIN), being implemented under the Sustainable Rural Energy (SRE) project funded by UNDP and executed by Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), aims to remove the aforementioned barrier through an information platform with a comprehensive scope and long-term perspective.
REIN functions through it’s web-based interface with renewable energy related information tailored specifically to meet the needs of the general public, enthusiasts, energy planners, project developers, researchers, entrepreneurs, students and all other relevant organizations & institutions in developing renewable energy projects and promotion of renewable energy utilization in Bangladesh. It is expected that especially schools and universities can immensely benefit from the information services provided by REIN.
Renewable energy in Bangladesh
Renewable energy resources are highly site specific. For assessment of renewables, availability of micro-climatic data is essential. Some of the Institutes and Universities are looking into all possible renewable energy that could sustain the livelihood of people in this country.
Some examples of renewable energy that are abundant in Bangladesh are as follows:
- SOLAR ENERGY :
Bangladesh is situated between 20.30 – 26.38 degrees north latitude and 88.04 – 92.44 degrees east longitude which is an ideal location for solar energy utilization. There is bright prospect for applications of solar thermal and photovoltaic systems in the country.
- WIND ENERGY :
In Bangladesh, data from earlier measurements and analysis of upper air data by CWET India show that wind energy resource of Bangladesh is not good enough (>7 m/s) for grid connected wind parks [GEF 2001]. But, small wind turbines can be installed in the coastal regions of the country.
- SMALL HYDRO :
Bangladesh is a riverine country with three main rivers (1) Ganges (2) Brahmaputra and (3) Jamuna. Numerous rivers flow across the country which are mostly tributaries of these main rivers. This implies that there is a limited potential of small hydro power plants in the hilly regions and existing irrigational canal systems in the country.
- BIOMASSS :
Biomass in the most significant energy source in Bangladesh which accounts for 65% of the total final energy consumption in Bangladesh. The main sources of biomass fuels are – (a) Trees -woodfuels, twigs, leaves, plant residues (b) Agricultural Residues – paddy husk, bran, bagasse, jute stick etc. and (c) Livestock -animal dung. Waste-to-energy project should be given serious contemplation which will not only provide electricity, but also reduce the overwhelming waste disposal problems of metropolitan cities of the country.
- MARINE RENEWABLE ENERGY RESOURCES :
Bangladesh has got 710 km long coastal belt along the Bay of Bengal. Among the main marine energy resources, Tidal power can be harnessed in the near future if they become technically and commercially viable option.
- GEOTHERMAL :
Geothermal energy is the natural heat of the Earth. It is a renewable source of energy if the exploration process don’t hamper the ecosystem or emit greenhouse gases. There is a known hot salt water spring, known as Labanakhya, in Bangladesh at 5 kilometer to the north of Sitakunda (40 kilometer from Chittagong). Possibility of extracting energy from this site or any other unknown sites can be investigated by Satellite Remote Sensing or Physical Surveys.
These resources are the ones needed to be developed to improve further the lives of the Bangla people.