Md. Abdul Gofran
Globally, a silent transition is going on from conventional to renewable. Renewable are getting increasing attention all over the world. Technologies are improving rapidly, costs are going down and thus renewable are becoming more attractive to the common people. Environmental issues are getting increasing attention since Rio conference 1992. Renewable being environment friendly, getting special attention all over the world including Bangladesh. According to REN 21, renewable contributes 19.3% of the total global energy in 2015. In 2016 about 62% of the world’s newly added power came from renewable. World renewable energy capacity now crossed 921GW. In COP22 in Paris, 48 countries have declared 100% renewable target. Among the renewable energy technologies, biogas, having multiple benefits is considered to be the best. It gives both gas and electricity. Anaerobic process of biogas production kills pathogen, reduces disease, improves environment. Climate of Bangladesh is suitable for biogas production. Raw materials of biogas are locally and easily available. Technology is simple and known. Potential is huge and sustainable. Realizing the fact, many countries including Bangladesh are giving attention towards biogas technology. At present, there are about 40 million plants in China, 5 million plants in India, 400,000 plants in Nepal, 500,000 plants in Vietnam and 115,000 plants in Bangladesh. These plants are mostly domestic. In 1991, Germany passed Electricity Act keeping attractive provisions for renewable including biogas technology. In 1992 German Biogas Association established. In 2000, they have passed ‘Renewable Energy Act’. At present, there are about 8,000 large size biogas plants. They are generating 5000MW electricity using biogas. Seeing success of Germany, other European countries started working on biogas. There are about 20,000 large size biogas plants in Europe and generating more than 10,000MW electricity. They purify biogas and use as vehicle fuel. Busses and trains also are running with biogas. They are using city waste, industrial waste, cattle dung, poultry litter, and maize as raw materials. Biomass of maize is about 20tons/acre, which is much more comparing to other cereal crops. They are producing about 2000MW electricity using maize silage.
Bangladesh has huge potential of biogas. At present, there are about 120,000 poultry farms and equal numbers of dairy farms. Those are ideal place for biogas production. Cities are generating 25,000 tons of waste every day. Using biogas technology huge quantity of gas can be produced. Maize may be another potential source of power. At present, Bangladesh is cultivating maize in about 800,000 acres of land. Farmers usually cultivate two crops a year. Considering one and a half crop annually 2,400,000,000tons of biomass will be available annually. Using biogas technology annually 2,400,000,00000m3 biogas can be produced, which can generate 4,800,000MWh electricity. Realizing the potential of maize based power, BBDF has been conducting a research project jointly with Bangladesh Agriculture University, Mymensingh and Practical Action Bangladesh. A seminar will be arranged at Noakhali Science and Technology University in November next. BBDF with the financial support from GIZ conducted a study on the status of commercial biogas in Bangladesh, which could draw attention of all. Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SRADA) has taken initiatives to develop a guideline on biogas to electricity, where BBDF extending their best support. It is expected that, the guideline will come into force soon and biogas technology will have notable contribution in meeting energy needs of the country.