Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | ePaper

The controversy over coal powered plants

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BANGLADESH is likely to be hit by its own "carbon bomb" once its 30 coal-based power plants go operational altogether by 2031. Besides, the projects will put the country in a "trade deficit" because those will cost Bangladesh an estimated $2 billion or over Tk 170 billion annually to import coal, as per a report. The report, titled "Choked by Coal: The Carbon Catastrophe in Bangladesh", was jointly released by Australia-based Market Force and US-based 350.org. Coal plant developers should suspend plans to build coal power projects and utilise the capital to drive rapid deployment of renewable energy, the report recommends. At present, the only operational coal-fired plant in the country is the 525 MW Barapukuria plant in Dinajpur.
It is unknown why the Bangladesh government continues to give approval to coal powered plants when worldwide these plants are winding down in developed countries due to its byproducts. It's not too difficult to figure out that the continued use of coal will contaminate the freshwater and deplete the capability of our nation to produce more food. This will hurt at the livelihood of our farmers whom agriculture still contributes over 40 percent of our workforce. The capability of the future generation will be significantly hampered due to the poisoning which they can suffer from due to the presence of contaminants in our food chain.
The increased import of coal will also deteriorate our Balance of Payments considerably to the tune of over 2 billion USD every year. This would devalue the taka also. What the government should be doing is to invest in clean energy. Instead of focusing on them why are they focusing on coal? Electricity generation should be based only on the basis of what is good for the state, not to serve the economic interests of any firm or individual.

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