Bangladesh is a densely populated country with about 161 million people living in 147,570 square kilometers of land. In order to maintain a sustainable GDP growth of 7% and above up to 2020 and beyond, the Government of Bangladesh (GOB) needs to meet the essential energy needs of the people and industries. For this purpose, demand-side energy management is just as important as supply-side infrastructure development.
A rapidly growing country like Bangladesh needs a huge amount of energy to feed its large growth appetite. There is no room for wasting energy. Energy Efficiency (EE) means high competitiveness; it means producing more with less energy. Thus earned “energy savings” can be wisely reinvested. Business establishments can reinvest them to expand their businesses. The households can reinvest them for their children’s’ education and health cares. The Government can invest less in energy subsidies and more in industrial development. EE is about national energy security; the Government can reduce import of expensive fuels, which is expected to increase in early 2020’s, and improve the international balance of payments.
The Government aims to improve energy intensity (national primary energy consumption per gross domestic product/GDP) in 2030 by 20% compared to the 2013 level: A total of 95 million toe (113 billion m3 of gas equivalent) is expected to be saved in the period. Energy savings will amount to BDT 768 billion in total, or an annual average BDT 51 billion at the current weighted average natural gas price. This goal will not be attained without the Government’s strong leadership, peoples’ consciousness and actions to realize it.
In 2030, the total primary energy consumption of Bangladesh, excluding transportation and biomass, is estimated to reach over 72 Mtoe, triple the size of 2013. It is now the high time for stakeholders to start Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EE&C). Before the country’s natural gas reserves start to decrease in 2018, before the imports of coal and LNG starts to increase in 2021-22, and before the country’s industrial structure change from labor intensive to energy intensive ones, the Government must strive ahead with the promotion of EE&C, to urge the general public to lead energy efficient, non-energy wasting and most productive lives.
Energy Balance in Bangladesh
Our primary energy supply is 33,172 ktoe, of which 55% is dependent on domestic natural gas, followed by 27% of biomass & waste in rural area and 15% of imported oil. On the demand side, out of 24,445 ktoe final consumption, the industrial sector uses 24% and residential sector (excluding biomass & waste) follows at 15%.
Present Situation of Energy Consumption
Bangladesh is one of the lowest among the world in the primary energy consumption per capita. In 2012, the country’s per GDP annual energy consumption was 238 kgoe (excluding biomass1). Compared to those of surrounding counties, such as India and Thailand, it stands lower. In the last decade, the energy use per GDP (“energy intensity”) of Bangladesh has been on the downward trend (implying the improvement in energy efficiency) due to strong economic growth backed by the expansion of less-energy-intensive export industries, such as garments.
From the macro point of view, however, the energy supply and demand balance of Bangladesh has been deteriorating, with the current amount of national energy production stands at 27,187 ktoe, while the amount of primary energy use is 33,550 ktoe including imported fuels3. As shown in Figure 2-3, this gap between national energy production and the amount of primary energy use is becoming very steep in the recent years. The risk of further deterioration is foreseeable as the country’s industrialization accelerates. Therefore, it is an utmost importance for the Government to take leadership in controlling the energy use by implementing appropriate EE&C plan, programs and measures and therewith promote energy efficiency in the entire economy.