Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on Saturday urged the government to take specific measures to increase investment in the renewable energy sector to attain the target to generate 100% electricity through renewable energy sources by 2050.
The Bangladesh chapter of the Berlin-based Transparency International welcomed the government's decision to scrap 10 coal-fired power plants.
At the same time, the anti-graft civil society organization, however, expressed concerns over the government's plan to implement the abandoned projects with Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as an alternative to coal.
In a statement, TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, "Scarping 10 coal-based projects that were taken despite constant protest from environmentalists and the local people can be considered a wise decision of the government. We want to believe that the government will make a clear announcement to move away from coal-fired power plants in the revised power master plan."
The government has recently abandoned 10 coal-fired power plants having a combined capacity to generate 9,346 megawatts of electricity, even though the Power Division in August last year proposed to scrap 13 public, private and joint venture coal-based projects due to environmental concerns and difficulties in mobilising funds.
The power projects are Moheskhali 1,320MW, Patuakhali 1,320MW, Gaibandha 1,200MW Uttarbanga Super Thermal Power Plant, Matarbari phase-2 Power Plant 1,200MW, Singapore-Bangladesh 700MW joint-venture plant, Munshiganj 522MW project in Dhaka, Two 282MW projects in Dhaka and Chattogram, CPGCL- Sumitomo Corporation joint-venture plant 1,200MW and Bangladesh-Malaysia 1,320MW joint-venture project.
Meanwhile, six coal-based power plants with a cumulative capacity of 7,782MW are being implemented with private, public and joint-venture investment. Of these projects, the Payra 1,320MW plant has already gone into operation.
Confirming the news, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said this decision will reduce coal-fired power's contribution to the national energy mix.
"The scarped coal projects will be converted to LNG-based plants," he added.
In the revised Power Sector Master Plan, the government has set a target to generated 30% electricity from coal by 2030.
At present, the coal-fired plants can generate only 7% of 22,023MW grid electricity, according to the Bangladesh Power Development Board.