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Although feasible, falling renewables costs might not benefit Bangladesh's energy sector's decarbonisation: Is this another ‘debt-fossil fuel production trap’?

Debnath, Kumar Biswajit and Mourshed, Monjur ORCID: 2024. Although feasible, falling renewables costs might not benefit Bangladesh's energy sector's decarbonisation: Is this another ‘debt-fossil fuel production trap’? Energy for Sustainable Development 79 , 101416. 10.1016/j.esd.2024.101416

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As Bangladesh strives to transition from a least developed to a developed nation by 2041, a growing population and rising disposable income have spurred a growing middle class, escalating the demand for accessible energy. The government and the private sector have heavily invested in a fossil fuel-centric energy mix to meet this anticipated surge in demand. However, our research challenged this prevailing approach by developing a country-scale scenario-based input-output long-horizon energy planning model for demonstrating the economic viability of decarbonising Bangladesh's electricity generation sector by 2050, with a preference for renewables over fossil fuels, particularly in a low-emissions scenario. This study was among the first to evaluate which was the most recent Integrated Energy and Power Master Plan (IEPMP) with a long-horizon energy planning model and suggested that implementing strategic socio-economic development measures, such as privatisation, deregulation, transparency, energy demand reduction, equitable subsidy removal, and carbon pricing, could yield a 24 % cost reduction for developing a near-zero emissions electricity generation sector by 2050. Despite these potential benefits, current and future policies, entirely influenced by master plans developed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, continue to rely heavily on imported coal, liquefied natural gas (LNG), hydrogen, ammonia, and nuclear energy, which raised concerns about the country being entangled in a ‘debt-fossil fuel production trap.’ We recommended a critical re-evaluation of existing energy policies. This caution was grounded in the suggestion that the nation should instead harness in-country resources and explore renewable-rich alternatives within its regional neighbouring countries, steering away from potential geopolitical, economic, and environmental pitfalls.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2352-4669
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 13 February 2024
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2024 15:00

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