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‘Efficiency in irrigation system could save huge energy’

Terming the country’s irrigation sector a potential energy saver, Tawfiq-E-Elahi Chowdhury, energy advisor to Prime Minister on Thursday said that Bangladesh could save a lot of energy by adopting energy efficient irrigation system.

“It is one of the potential areas where the country can save up a lot of energy,” Tawfiq said while speaking as the chief guest at the second founding anniversary of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA).

The program was organised by SREDA in its office at the capital. SREDA has been formed under the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority Act, 2012 on December 10, 2012 as a nodal agency to promote, facilitate and disseminate sustainable energy.

The energy advisor said that many government agencies and research & development organisations are active in promoting water efficiencies in irrigation, but these programs largely ignore the energy efficiency dimension.

“Energy efficiency is rarely given priority in the design of water efficient irrigation systems. But studies have shown that energy efficient irrigation system can save up a lot of energy sources for a country, especially for an agricultural country like Bangladesh.”

He said that farmers are generally aware of the increased energy consumption associated with water-efficient irrigation, but are largely unaware of how this increased energy consumption can be minimised and controlled.

“Our engineers should try to come up with energy efficient irrigation solution and try to train up our farmers in adopting those,” he said adding that we should try to modernise our whole irrigation system and incorporate renewable energy in that.

Speaking on the occasion as the special guest, Nasrul Hamid, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said that new measures will be taken to make all the offices under the ministry of power, energy and mineral resources energy efficient.

“We should start setting example by ourselves. We should try to make all our offices energy efficient within the next one year," he said.

Nasrul also put emphasis on promoting root op solar power in massive scale in urban areas. “A lot of investors have shown their interest to finance for implementing rooftop solar in urban areas. We should start some projects immediately on that.”

He said that he had recently attended Doha forum and there some of the global leaders talked about massive international grid connectivity with the large scale solar power plants which will established in some of the world`s largest deserts including Sahara dessert.

Md Tajul Islam, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on ministry of power, energy and mineral resources said that usage of LED light could save a lot of energy. “The LED lights which are being imported from different countries to Bangladesh are of sub par qualities. We should try to produce LED lights in our country instead of importing those from other countries," he said.

Earlier Siddique Zobair, Member of SREDA gave a presentation on ‘Achievement and future plan on SREDA’.

In his presentation, he shed light on different activities of SREDA in last two years and talked about its future plan.

Talking about some of the future plans, he said that the government will establish pilot waste to energy project in six municipalities and it will identify potential of waste heat recovery in power stations to promote renewable and sustainable energy.

During the ceremony, amateur filmmakers who made documentaries on energy efficiency were given awards. Also the official logo of SREDA and the new office buildings of SREDA were inaugurated by the chief and special guests.

Nazimuddin Chowdhury, Acting Secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division, Dr Ahmed kaikaus, Additional Secretary of the power Division, SREDA Chairman Md Anwarul Islam Sikder and Avijit Basu, regional director of GIZ also spoke on the occasion.

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