NGOs urge government to redirect energy subsidy to solar plants

Civil Society representatives today urged the government to redirect its current 13 million US dollar subsidy to renewable energy, especially to solar power generation, from conventional power plants run by fossil fuels.

They said aside from more investment and policy focus on renewable energy, the government should also try its best to generate power from non-conventional sources such as cow dung, jute sticks, urban waste, paddy waste, and rice bran for local consumption.

The suggestions were made at a rally organized by two dozens of organizations in front of Jatiya Press Club here, said a press release this evening.

Sayed Aminul Haque of EquityBD, an NGO, said the country witnessed a substantial growth in solar home installation over years, mostly because of people's interest in it. But this growth can be accelerated if incentives and subsidies from the government are passed on to renewable energy initiatives, he added.

He also observed that the benefit of the current 13 million US dollar subsidy hardly reach the poor as the power generated from such subsidized plants go to the national grid and that power is enjoyed by the rich. Incentives to solar plants instead, he said, would benefit the poor living in the off-grid and remote areas.

Others spoke on the occasion said the government should equally focus both on clean energy generation and energy conservation. As part of it, they said, the government should promote green building architecture that leads to less energy consumption during daytime.

In addition to it, they said, the government should immediately ban the uses of florescent and tube lights and promote LED bulbs instead. All multi-storey new buildings should have self-facilities to generate at least 20 percent of energy they consume every day from solar, they said, adding Indian model could be followed in this regard.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)