Vol. 4 Num 212 Mon. December 29, 2003  

Harness renewable energy
Experts suggest

Harnessing renewable energy sources can help the country face the development challenges of the new century and meet the growing need for energy.

The experts said this at a seminar yesterday and called for promotion of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy.

The Renewable Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA), a project of UNEP under the Renewable Energy Research Centre of University of Dhaka, organised the seminar, with Environment and Forest Minister Shajahan Siraj as chief guest.

The minister said it is time to look for alternative sources of energy as the country's biomass resources and electricity generation are not enough to meet the growing need for energy.

The government should make renewable energy kits cheap and available to the people, he added.

Terming energy consumption an indicator of development, the experts said energy supply has to be increased many times to bolster economy and alleviate poverty.

But the natural gas and other biomass resources were limited and electricity supply was inadequate, they said, adding that the scant supply of electricity led to frequent power outages, causing a negative impact on the gross domestic product (GDP).

Besides, the shortfall of biomass fuels led to destruction of forest resources, the speakers said.

Professor Mulhtasham Hussain, chief consultant of SWERA, and the Professor SMA Fayz, vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, also spoke.

Environment Minister Shajahan Siraj speaks at a seminar on 'Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment for Bangladesh' in the city yesterday. PHOTO: PID