A lack of understanding about the best methods for delivering electricity and clean cooking for poor people prevails, and many of the most marginalised people are continuously left behind, revealed a new report on Monday.
The report "Poor People's Energy Outlook (PPEO) 2019" was released by global development charity Practical Action at a virtual inaugural ceremony of the 20th National Renewable Energy Conference and Green Expo 2020 – which stressed the importance of achieving energy access nationwide.
Salman F Rahman, private sector industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, attended the event as its chief guest.
Professor Dr Akhtaruzzaman, vice-chancellor of Dhaka University, chaired the virtual conference, and Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, presented the keynote.
This year, as in previous years, the PPEO is critical reading, providing an important perspective – showing the connections between planning, finance, and delivery, read a press release.
The report offers a comprehensive framework for a more bottom-up approach to providing energy access.
The report demonstrates that a range of energy access interventions are needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7.
"Tackling the energy access challenge, and ensuring it meets the needs of energy-poor communities, will require a holistic effort. Research has demonstrated that if the provision were to be based solely on the ability to pay, energy access would be restricted to better-off people in energy-poor communities," said Dr Shawkat A Begum, Bangladesh country director of Practical Action, while discussing the report in detail.
Dr Shawkat A Begum further said even in relatively well-developed markets, there are still hard-to-reach villages and people unable to afford even the smallest solar lanterns.
"This will require concerted action by all stakeholders, including: international donors, national governments, private investors, and developers, as well as civil society."
"Countries like Bangladesh, that fear being amongst the countries worst-affected by climate change, need to promote green energy strategies to replace fossil fuel-powered energy," said Salman F Rahman.
He emphasised the importance of Bangladesh's government's effort in promoting renewable energy as a major tool to combat climate change and urged innovative and adaptive technologies be scaled up.
Professor Akhtaruzzaman emphasised the importance of efficient use of renewable energy to reach the most marginalised people and highlighted the country's vulnerabilities to climate change.
Dr Sultan Ahmed, secretary to the Power Division of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources, said the initiative is already in line with the study findings to overcome the barriers to inclusion.
He also discussed the government's action towards setting up a 36mw waste to energy plant in Amin Bazar to make the most use of the huge amount of waste produced in the capital every day.
Zuena Aziz, principal coordinator of SDG affairs at the Prime Minister's Office, Mohammad Alauddin, chairman of Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority, Mahmood Malik, CEO of Infrastructure Development Company Limited, and Professor Dr Saiful Huque, director at the Institute of Energy at the University of Dhaka also added their valuable insights to the discussion. Their speeches focused on Bangladesh's perspectives on renewable energy.