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Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi

Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

Bangladesh still remains an agrarian country. Because of the fast population growth, the
amount of per capita cultivable land is dwindling very fast. In order to survive as a
nation, and to prosper in the 21st century, Bangladesh will have to shift from an agrarian
economy to an industrial economy. Consequently, the power generation will have to
increase drastically to achieve that goal. Electrification of the whole country should be
taken as the top most priority. According to the Report of the Task Forces on Bangladesh
Development Strategies for the 1990s, as s of 1991, 73.1% of the total energy
consumption comes from biomass fuel, such as agricultural residues, tree residues, fuel
wood, and dung. The use of biomass is not only an ineffective means of energy
generation, it is also extremely detrimental to the environment. Bangladesh has about half
the USA population and about one-eighth of India's population. However, the energy
production in Bangladesh is not a match to either of these countries. In fact, even
amongst the 40 countries classified by the World Bank as "low income countries",
Bangladesh's commercial energy use stands less than 31% of the average of these
countries. Bangladesh has a poor economy but the United States has the world's largest
economy. Since all industrial and other economic activities rely on electricity or other
means of power, the primary energy production can be considered as an indicator of a
country's economic strength. In 2005, Bangladesh’s real gross domestic product (GDP)
grew at 5.4 percent, down somewhat from the 2004 growth rate of 6.3 percent. Economic
forecasts are at 5.8 percent for 2006.

Bangladesh: A Mono-Energy Country: The national energy balance of Bangladesh
clearly depicts that natural gas is Bangladesh's only significant indigenous source of
commercial energy. It is the principal source of energy for the country's power, industry,
commercial, and domestic sectors. Natural gas provides over 90 percent of Bangladesh's
electricity, and is also the feedstock and fuel of the urea and ammonia fertilizer plants.
Urea has helped Bangladesh attain self-sufficiency in rice production—the major local
food crop. Natural gas at present is undoubtedly an important driving force of its
economy. The future development of Bangladesh's economy depends largely on the

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

government's ability to sketch out a natural gas strategy that offers the best prospects of
utilization of this unique asset of the country.

Comparison of Energy Use : Bangladesh has one of the lowest rates of per capita
energy consumption in the world. As is evident from Table 1, the 1997 Bangladeshi per
capita energy consumption (197 kgoe) was less than the average per capita energy
consumption of South Asia for the same period (443 kgoe), and far less than the averages
for low income (563 kgoe) and lower middle income (1,178 kgoe) countries. It is also
evident that during the 1990s, the energy consumption of Bangladesh grew at a slower
pace (1.0% per annum) than the South Asian average (1.9% per annum).

Table 1: Comparison of Energy Use .

Economy Commercial energy use Net energy
Thousand metric tons Per capita % of commercial
kg of oil Avg.
of oil equivalent energy use
equivalent annual %
1990 1997 1990 1997 1990-97 1990 1997
Bangladesh 24,327 190 197 1.0 10 10
Low income 1,122,683 1,194,696 607 563 -1.2 -17 -9
Lower 2,426,917 2,384,856 1,302 1,178 -1.2 -18 -20
South Asia 435,330 556,496 394 443 1.9 9 15
World 8,608,414 9,431,190 1,705 1,692 0.0 -- --

Source: World Bank, "World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty," Selected
World Development Indicators, Table 10, Energy Use and Emissions (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2001),

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

An Overview of the Energy Consumption Pattern in Bangladesh: Low availability of
commercial energy can be a crucial obstacle to a country's economic development.
Bangladesh's per capita energy use barely touched the 240 kgoe mark, which is the third
lowest in South and South East Asia after Nepal and Cambodia. Most of it, however, is
non-commercial energy. The country has huge unmet demand in commercial energy,
reflecting the energy-starved condition of millions of people. Only 18 percent of the 134
million people in the country have access to electricity.The annual per capita
consumption of electricity has been officially estimated at 112 kWh, which compares
unfavorably with neighboring India's 440 kWh. Ironically, only 4 percent of the people in
Bangladesh have access to indigenous natural gas.

Current Energy Balance In Bangladesh: While the numbers are approximate, recent
estimates for Bangladesh state that about 70 percent of energy needs are met by
traditional or non-commercial sources of energy, which primarily come from agricultural
residues, scrub wood, and animal dung. The remaining 30 percent of energy needs are
met by commercial energy sources available in the country. The trend of commercial
energy consumption over the last ten years suggests that 70 percent of Bangladesh's total
commercial energy was provided by natural gas, with the remainder almost entirely
provided by imported oil, plus limited amounts of hydropower and coal (Figure 1)

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

Fig: Commercial Energy Consumption Trend in Bangladesh

Different Sources of Energy Generation Consuming in Bangladesh: Bangladesh is
not well endowed with conventional sources of energy. The country's energy sources are
neither adequate nor varied. Non-commercial sources of energy include biomass fuels,
agricultural residues, tree residues, and animal dung. The country receives 5.05 to 8.76
kWh (kilowatt hours) from solar radiation, but commercial photovoltaic generation is too
expensive for Bangladesh. Conventional commercial sources of energy in the country
include fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, natural gas and hydropower. A brief accounting of
these commercial sources of energy in Bangladesh has been provided below.

• Coal:
• Peat:
• Oil:
• Hydropower:
• Natural gas:
• Electricity
• Wood Energy

• Coal: Bangladesh has small coal reserves, and has consumed little coal in the
past. Bangladesh began commercial coal production in April 2003 with the
opening of the Barapukuria Coal Mine, which is expected to produce one million
short tons of coal per year (Mmst/y), principally for electricity generation. The
total reserves of coal in the country are estimated at about 1.75 billion tons, but at
present underground mining has been initiated only at Barapukuria with a
production level of one million tons per year. In July 2005, UK-based Asia
Energy Corp. (AEC) submitted a proposal to develop a coal mine in Bangladesh’s
Phulbari region. According to a Scheme of Development and Feasibility Study
submitted to the government, AEC declares that the Phulbari site contains an

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

estimated 572 million short tons of recoverable coal reserves. Despite
Bangladesh’s small reserves, the government has recently promoted the
development of coal to ease its reliance on natural gas for power generation.
Bangladesh’s coal reserves have so far not been developed, mainly owing to a
lack of domestic financing.
• Peat: Bangladesh has approximately 173 million tons of peat deposits throughout
the country. Production has yet to begin because it has not been considered as cost
effective as other energy sources, given the country's existing technology.
• Oil: A very insignificant reserve of oil was found in Bangladesh serendipitously,
in 1986. The country possesses a small proven oil reserve of 56.9 million barrels.
Between 1987-94, about 0.65 million barrels of crude oil was produced. But the
production was suspended in 1994 and has remained inactive due to techno-
economic considerations. According to Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ), Bangladesh has
28 million barrels of proven oil reserves as of January 2006, down from 56
million barrels in 2005. The country produced an estimated 4,000 barrels per day
(bbl/d) of oil in 2005, flat from the previous year. Bangladesh’s relatively low
level of domestic reserves and production capacity make it a net oil importer, as
the country consumed an estimated 91,000 bbl/d of oil in 2005.
• Hydropower: Being essentially a delta, Bangladesh has limited hydropower
potential. According to assessments reported in the Bangladeshi Government's
Power System Master Plan 1995, the country has the potential to produce 755
MW (megawatts) of hydropower per day. At present, its sole hydropower plant's
production capacity is 230 MW per day.
• Natural gas: In the overall energy picture of Bangladesh, the country's natural
gas endowment in comparison to other energy resources makes Bangladesh
essentially a mono-energy country. It is estimated that Bangladesh's net
recoverable reserves of natural gas (as of April 2002) lie in a range from 12.04 Tcf
(trillion cubic feet) to 15.55 Tcf. Natural gas reserve estimates vary widely for
Bangladesh. Oil & Gas Journal (OGJ) reported that Bangladesh had 5 trillion
cubic feet (Tcf) of proven natural gas reserves as of January 2006, down

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

significantly from OGJ’s January 2005 estimate of 10.6 Tcf. It is not clear why the
large downgrade of Bangladesh’s natural gas reserves occurred. In mid-2004,
estimates from state-owned Petrobangla put net proven reserves at 15.3 Tcf.

Bangladesh’s Ministry of Finance estimated in 2004 that the country holds 28.4 Tcf of
total gas reserves, of which 20.5 Tcf is recoverable. In June 2001, the U.S. Geological
Survey estimated that Bangladesh contains 32.1 Tcf of additional “undiscovered

( Source : Natural Gas Production in Bangladesh, 1994-2004. (Source: EIA International Energy Annual))

Fig: Natural gass production in Bangladesh,1994-2004

• Electricity: In 2004, Bangladesh had 4.7 giga watts (GW) of installed generation
capacity, up from 3.6 GW in 2002. 95 percent of this capacity was conventional
thermal power (primarily natural gas) and the remaining 5 percent hydroelectric
power. Electricity generation per capita is one of the lowest in the world, at about
155 kilowatt-hours (kwh) in 2005. According to the World Bank, only 32 percent
of the population has access to electricity, primarily in the more developed eastern

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

zone of the country. Since much of the country is disconnected from the national
electricity grid, noncommercial sources of energy such as biomass are estimated
to represent more than half of Bangladesh’s energy consumption.

(Source: EIA International Energy Annual)

Fig:Installed Electricity Generation Capacity by Type, 1994-2004.

Wood Energy: Bangladesh is one of the RWEDP-member countries with the smallest
area of natural forest (5.4% of total land area in 1995). Per capita income is only just over
US$200 per year. Biomass energy, consisting of fuel wood, agricultural residues and
dung dominates primary energy production and supply in Bangladesh. In 1994, 141 PJ of
fuel wood and 363 PJ of other biomass energy was consumed, mainly in the household
sector. Seventy one percent and 20% of the total energy consumed came from biomass
and wood fuels respectively. Between 1983 and 1994, fuel wood consumption grew with
an average annual growth rate of 1.3%, compared to 9% for conventional energy. As
much as 87% of all wood fuels originate from sources other
than forests, but severe scarcities prevail almost all over the

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

Fig:Wood for cooking purpose. Fig: An old women making Wood burner.

Wood Energy Data

Table:General 250


Population (1996) 120 mln. 100

Share of Rural Population 81.1% 50 Series2

GDP per capita (1995) in constant 1987 0
Populatio Share of GDP per
n (1996) Rural capita
US$ 202 Series1 0 81.10% 202

Fig: In general.

(Source:Woodfuel in Bangladesh - Production and Marketing - Technical Papers from the National Training Course,

RWEDP Report 38, 1998 )

Table:Energy Consumption (1994/95)

Total Final Energy Consumption in PJ
143. (17.0%
Consumption of Wood Energy in PJ
7 )
563. (66.7%
Consumption of Biomass Energy in PJ
4 )

(source:Regional Study on Wood Energy Today and Tomorrow in Asia, Field Document 50, 1997)

Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..


Fig: Energy Consumption (1994/95)

Table:Wood Energy Resources

Forest Area (1995) in 1000 ha
0 (7.8%)
Natural Forest Area (1995) in 1000 ha 700 (5.4%)
9,40 (72.2%
Agricultural Area (1994) in 1000 ha
0 )
Share of Woodfuels from Forest Area (1981) 13%

(Source: Chapter 2 in Review of Wood Energy Data in RWEDP Member Countries, Field Document 47, 1997)

Forest Area (1995)
in 1000 ha

Natural Forest
Area (1995) in
1000 ha
Agricultural Area
(1994) in 1000 ha

Share of
Woodfuels from
Forest Area (1981)

Fig: Wood Energy

Table:Potential Wood Energy Supply (1994) Sust. Supply from
Natural Forest in
Sust. Supply from
Sust. Supply from Natural Forest in kton 737 Forest Plantations
in kton
Sust. Supply from Forest Plantations in 1,02
Sust. Supply from
Agriculture Areas
in kton
Sust. Supply from
Other Wooded
Land in kton
Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

kton 8
Sust. Supply from Agriculture Areas in 5,59
kton 3
Sust. Supply from Other Wooded Land in
kton 215
Supply from Wood Waste from 1,42
Deforestation in kton 6
8,99 Fig:Potential Wood Energy Supply (1994)
Total Potential Supply in kton

Primary Wood Energy Requirement
(Proceedings of The National Workshop in Bangladesh on Wood-Based Energy Systems for Rural Industries and Village Applications,
RWEDP Report 34, 1997.Biomass Based Energy Systems in Rural Industries and Village Applications Bangladesh - 17, 1989)

BIO ENERGY : Bangladesh is densely populated country. Large proportions of rural
and urban poor traditionally harvest; fire wood, Vegetation, animal excreta and
agricultural residues for domestic cooking. These methods proved to be unsustainable as
fire woods contributed to higher levels of deforestation. However long term sustainable
development in energy sector requires a gradual shifting towards renewable sources of
energy. Country like Bangladesh, making people renewable way meeting energy
demands, considerably Biogas technology is cheaper option. The Local Government
Engineering Department (LGED) with continuous contribution to sustainable technology
bridging the gap between energy demands and harnessing bio-energy with a renewable
way. Bio-gas generation from disposal waste of animal husbandry, agricultural residues,
human execrate, poultry dropping from a average house holds and making people more
renewable to a environmentally friendly technology. The gas generated from bio-gas
plant can meet the fuel requirement of cooking without causing any environmental


Types of energy using pattern in bangladesh (mahadi )
Muhammad Mahadi..
Environmental Science Discipline..Khulna University..

Organic matters such as animal and human excreta, agricultural and industrial waste,
water hyacinth etc. when fermented under an anaerobic condition produce a combustible
gas called Biogas. It is a renewable source of energy, can be used as fuel for cooking,
lighting, running vehicles and generators, etc. Other natural resources like oil, gas etc.
are limited and will be exhausted in course of time. That is why, the developed countries
consider their natural resources very precious and are cautious about extracting those. In
Bangladesh neither the decision-makers nor the experts pay due importance on proper
extraction and use of natural resources. With the present rate of consumption, natural
energy resources like gas will be exhausted shortly and this is high time to derive policy
and practice for exploration and use of alternative renewable sources if we want to meet
energy crisis in near future. Biogas has been found to be a proven renewable energy

Biogas plant.

Fig: Biogas plants in Bangladesh.