Huge prospect of ocean energy lying idle
By Gazi Anowar , 2017-08-24 12:36:47
Gazi Anowarul Hoque :
The country can meet its huge demand for electricity from ocean energy to be produced from tidal, wave and current otherwise known as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), experts said.
Ocean electric technology doesn't use oil, coal or gas. It can help any government cut its electricity production cost in half, they said.
However, Bangladesh produces electricity 7500 to 8000MW daily that cannot meet the growing demand. The electricity shortage hampers country's industrial development.
According to a UN study, global investment in green energy is expected to hit $1.9 trillion by 2020, generating millions of jobs worldwide.
Sources said, there is the potential worldwide to develop 337 GW of wave and tidal energy by 2050, and possibly as much again from OTEC. The 320GW energy is being produced by wind energy increasing 10 percent per year worldwide. China, India and EU get 100 GW, 25 GW and 110 GW energy from ocean respectively. It is predicted there could be almost 400 GW.
With over 50 countries installing wind turbines, investment in wind energy climbed to $50.2 billion in 2007. The worldwide installed capacity is about 100 GW and is growing at 30 percent annually.
But Bangladesh is lagging behind. Techknow Industrial SDN Bhd, a Malaysia-based company, planed to establish a sea wave-based power plant in north Chittagong. But the project did not come in the scene.
"It is green, it entails no pollution. It's a solution to tackle global warming and reducing carbon dioxide in the environment. The output capacity of the plant is almost 900 million KwH," the company statement said.
However, the good news is a wind turbine power plant will be built with Danish investment in Bangladesh that will generate 60MW electricity from wind as the country's first wind turbine power plant at Cox's Bazar likely goes into production in 2017.
US-DK Green Energy (BD), a joint venture between Taylor Engineering Group of USA, ph-consulting group of Denmark and Multiplex Green Energy of Bangladesh, are establishing the plant at Kurushkul, southeast in Moheshkhali at a cost of $120 million.
Professor Dr. Md. Kawser Ahmed, Chairman of Oceanography told The New Nation on Sunday, "There is a huge prospect to consume energy from ocean but we are in the back bench comparing developed countries. Ocean energy is the focusing point of Blue economy."
"Energy from ocean sources encompasses alternative environmentally friendly that is virtually non-polluting. Business men may contribute to the low carbon energy by investing at ocean energy production," he opined.
(This article was published in the daily New Naon on Thursday, August 25, 2016)
The writer is a Marine Conservationist based in Bangladesh. He can be reached at email@example.com