7,000 MW power can be generated from sea waves
The country can produce as much as 4,000 to 7,000 megawatts of electricity along 710 kilometres of coastlinefrom the waves of the Bay of Bengal, a preliminary study done in Cox’s Bazar claimed on Saturday.
Researchers of the two-year study said generation of electricity from sea waves was found to be the most feasible one than any other available renewable energy options such as solar and wind in terms of its cost and sustainability.
The option would, however, be costly initially than the conventional sources of electricity from fossil fuels that include gas, oil and coal in Bangladesh, a power hungry country that requires more and more electricity to accelerate its over the 6 per cent economic growth and become a middle-income nation in next 10 years.
“It’s a blessing. We did not even think of such promising result that has shown us a new path of solutions to power deficit in Bangladesh,” Professor Dr Kamrul Alam Khan told BSS in the city on Saturday..
Kamrul, a physics professor of Jagannath University and a co-author of the study, said sea wave power can be generated at the onshore, near the shore and in the deep sea, but onshore power generation through LIMPET (land installed marine power energy transformer) would be realistic now as Bangladesh has a vast coastline ready.
The researcher said an estimated Taka 75 crore is required to generate one megawatt of electricity through solar panels, while it cost Taka 20 crore for the wind power. But the wave energy generation for a megawatt would cost Taka 4 crore, a figure which is much higher than conventional methods of power generation.
Asked how he finds wave energy generation feasible, Kamrul said initially the cost seemed to higher than traditional ones, but it would come down in next decade as the global forces were switching over to renewable energy options quickly.
“The more you use, the more it would become cost-effective,” he said reminding that wave energy would cost higher for the time being because it is an ‘alternative’ energy option. Any alterative would cost higher, he said and added that the world is likely to replace fossil fuel and nuclear energy options by 2050.
Many European countries,including Germany, Denmark and Norway, are at the forefront to bank on renewable energy sources, he said, suggesting the government to negotiate with such countries for technology transfer and investment in the sector.
When contacted Danish Ambassadorin Dhaka Svend Olling said Denmark has a deep interest in development of wave energy generation in Bangladesh, a place where he sees wave as a most potential source of future energy.
He said the researchers in Bangladesh and institutes in Denmark could have joint initiatives to spearhead the cause, and find feasible and affordable solutions for power generation locally.
Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) sources said nearly fifty percent of total population has now access to electricity with an average present peak-hour generation of 5,200 MW every day.
The loadshedding has come down substantially in last two years, but the country still needs nearly 1,000 MW more to meet the present demand, which is soaring 10 percent every year.
More than 82 percent of electricity is now generated from gas-fired power stations, 7 percent from diesel, 6 percent from furnace oil, 2.5 percent from coal and close to 3 percent from hydro. Solar power-as the lone clan energy option-is being used in the off-grid areas, while a small wind power plant is still on a trial run.
A BPDB official said they have been closely watching the renewable energy development in Europe and would embark on it after major successes there. “We cannot afford expensive new technologies now, but definitely we will love to opt for renewable and clean energy in near future.”