State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said the government is now moving towards fixing power and energy prices on the basis of their international market prices.
"We're preparing for setting the gas price through a market –based mechanism. Similarly, the tariff of electricity will be set on a market-based price," he told reporters on Thursday on the sideline of a solar power related workshop's closing session at a city hotel.
The state minister was responding to reporters' queries about state-owned Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company's proposal to raise household consumers' gas price by 47% again.
As per the proposal, a single burner user will have to pay Tk1,379 instead of current monthly bill of Tk990 while a double burner user will have to pay Tk1,591 instead of TkTk1,080 per month.
The new market-based price mechanism will be introduced soon under which sometimes prices will go up and down on the basis of their international market prices, said the State Minister, adding that the government wants to come out of the subsidies now being provided for the gas and power sector.
About the solar power sector, he said that the World Bank has conducted a study where it identified a number of areas from which about 5,500 MW of electricity could be generated.
"We've told the World Bank that the public and private sectors can work together. They have conducted pre-feasibility studies there," he said, adding that an option is being created centering the wind offshore power.
He said the government is also conducting a study as to how quickly electricity could be produced from such offshore and onshore wind power potentials.
He noted that there is a big advantage for our country that there is a large area of shallow sea on our shore where water depth is 50-60 meters.
"But lots of matters have to be looked into as there are environmental aspects, and fisheries as well. We have to consider many things before harnessing the potentials from wind," he said.
Nasrul Hamid said the government is now working to provide reliable electricity at an affordable price.
In the workshop titled: "Utility Scale Solar", a World Bank team leader said land access is the key challenge.
He said the World Bank is interested in providing both financial and technical support to implement solar power projects in Jamalpur .
"We can mobilize the climate change funds along with the international investors for the project," said the World Bank team leader.
The function was also addressed by Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) chairman Mahbubur Rahman and Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (Sreda) chairman Munira Sultana.