According to the newspaper’s sources, there is now a deficit of one and a half to two thousand megawatts in the country’s electricity production compared to demand. Customers have to spend an average of six to seven hours on load shedding in different parts of the country, including the capital. In some places in Mofswal outside of Dhaka, there are complaints that it sometimes goes up to 10am. The Electricity Department blames the gas shortage for the lack of power generation.
The Department of Energy says that due to rising prices, it is not possible to procure the necessary gas on the international market. Considering the overall situation, experts believe that this situation will not get rid of anytime soon.
State Minister for Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, “No matter how optimistic I am, the situation is not good at the moment. There is no comfort zone in dollar value, gas and oil supply management and fuel prices.
The power crisis is not just a power crisis. The problem isn’t just panting in the heat without running a fan or staying in the dark; The shortage of electricity poses many problems. Irrigation machines cannot work in the event of a power failure. As a result, agricultural production is affected. Disruption of agricultural production means disruption of the production of food grains and vegetables.
International organizations claim that the war in Ukraine will lead to global food shortages, global food shortages and global famine situations. Bangladesh experienced a famine in 1974. According to the government, as a result of this famine, 26,500 people died. 1.5 million people died as a result of the 1974 famine. There are still many people living in the country who witnessed the terrible famine days of the 70s. 1970 comes to mind, we shudder. It therefore appears that the electricity production deficit is not simply a problem of load shedding. At the root of this is a serious problem.
Due to the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the price of gas on the international market is now on the rise. The supply of LNG on the spot market has ceased due to high prices. Although initiatives have been taken to increase LNG imports under long-term contracts, supplier countries have not yet responded positively. This information was obtained from the business daily Vanik Barta. Vanik Barta also reported that the government has taken the initiative to reduce the opening hours of commercial establishments, commercial establishments and educational institutions to reduce electricity consumption. But due to the energy crisis, this initiative does not bring any benefit. Distribution companies are now coping with power shortages through load shedding. Customers must spend an average of six to seven hours on load shedding across the country, including the capital.
In this regard, the Bangladesh Power Development Board, the only purchaser of electricity, indicated that there are gas-fired power plants in the country with a capacity of at least 11,500 megawatts. Of these, power plants of six to six and a half thousand megawatts must operate regularly. To operate these power plants at full capacity, approximately 150 million cubic feet of gas are needed per day.
But power plants are getting a supply of 90 to 95 crore cubic feet. Minister of State for Electricity, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid also acknowledged the fact that power outages have increased at an unusual rate due to the energy crisis. Daily Vanik Barta has exposed the root of the power supply problem.
Electricity is a form of energy that requires other fuels to be produced. Electricity generation requires molecular energy or hydropower or mineral coal or gaseous energy or solar energy. Each of these energies must be used to produce electricity. Electricity is actually transformed energy. Using electricity for production and daily life needs makes our life and work much easier. This is why the price of electricity is very high among the energy sources. Electricity is a sought-after source of energy in industrial production, agricultural production and daily life.
For this reason, mankind has not been able to create an alternative to electricity to achieve civilizational success. Lenin said: Bolshevism + electricity = socialism. Here, Bolshevism replaced the old exploitative social order, but that was not enough. Technology must be used to support this system. Create the foundations of civilization by making electricity technology visible and creating utility. The role of electricity has made power generation essential. In Bangladesh, most of the electricity is produced by hydroelectricity, gas. Currently, due to reduced availability of gas, efforts are being made to generate electricity with imported gas.
There are many power plants in the private sector, which run on diesel or fuel oil. A large-scale nuclear power plant is under construction in the country. High quality charcoal is available at Barapukuria in Bangladesh. Electricity is produced from coal. With greater use of coal, it was possible to set up several power plants. But there is no progress in domestic coal mining because it will cause environmental disaster. Large power plants are being set up in Bangladesh based on imported coal. There must be a clear strategy for which energy can be used for electricity generation in the country. A dialogue can be organized for a national consensus on this issue.
After independence, the country developed satisfactorily in the agricultural sector, but not to the desired extent. These developments have led to a three-fold increase in foodgrain production despite a more than doubling of the population and a reduction in agricultural land. This is possible through the use of modern technology in agriculture.
Agricultural research centers develop new seeds to increase agricultural production using this technology – seed, fertilizer and water technology. Water for irrigation is supplied using shallow tube wells and deep tube wells. Chemical fertilizers are used to increase agricultural production. Chemical fertilizers are produced with gas. Agricultural production would have remained the same as at independence if there had been no development in agricultural technology. There was even a possibility of reducing production. If this were the case, many people would die from lack of food. Such a scenario is scary to imagine.
In agriculture, arable land is usually fixed. Agriculture inevitably falls under the law of diminishing returns even if other means of production are increased without increasing land. This regulation has been circumvented by the use of seed-fertilizer-water technology. The country’s farmers have responded satisfactorily to the use of new technologies. The pressure of poverty has forced them to use new technologies. The next decade or two may not yield the expected benefits from the use of the technologies mentioned. For this, it is necessary to think now about how to make the seed-fertilizer-water technology currently used more efficient. That is, after the completion of the first cycle of development in the field of agricultural technology, what will be the characteristics of the second cycle of technology should be deeply considered.
Dr. Mahbub Ullah: Pedagogue and Economist