Power Crisis

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CAUSES OF POWER CRISIS IN BANGLADESH AND MEASURES TO ERADICATE THE PROBLEM

INTRODUCTION
1.Electricity is the air and water of modern civilization. With the invention of electricity human life, culture and society has dramatically changed. Present day society demands electricity as the basic need in every moment of human life. It plays a decisive role in agricultural mechanization, industrialization, urbanization etc. Without electricity, communities are unable to participate in the benefits of modern advances and are left isolated and literally in the dark. The per capita energy consumption of a country reflects the level of progress and economic status. The present per capita electricity consumption for our country is about 6% of the world average. Having a consumption rate of 150.97 k ilowatt hours, Bangladesh is one of the least developed countries of the world. Almost 49% people have access to electricity. This is indeed a much low rate. 2.A balanced power system has three factors. Those are generation, transmission and distribution. To ensure a stable situation in a country, these three factors must go equally side by side. The generation must meet continuously increasing demand with quality supply and reliability. Presently, Bangladesh produces up to 4,500 megawatts of electricity a day which is almost 1,500 megawatts short of demand. Again, distribution of power between East and West Zone is uneven. There is always a flow of power from East to West causing huge transmission losses. This displays the poor condition of all three factors. Broadly the causes of this power crisis can be- lack of an efficient power system master plan, slowness in execution, lack of harmony in the progress of three factors of the system, system loss, corruption, poor administration, lack of effective motivation and supervision, consumer’s behaviour etc.

3.Each and every year we are losing at least a handsome amount of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the shortage of power supply. If the present situation continues for a prolonged period the country will face tremendous difficulty in all aspects. A national awareness is must with long term sustainable planning to overcome the crisis. The problem can be effectively addressed if the power plants could generate electricity to their maximum capacity and the system loss could be reduced to the bare minimum. Government’s determination to set up new plants, drastic action against the corrupt and inefficient people of the power sector, reduction of system loss, disconnection of illegal connections, proper checking of meters of industrial and commercial users etc can pay effective ways to solve the crisis.

4.This paper would attempt to discuss the present condition and causes of power crisis in Bangladesh. After doing so, it will put forward some suggestions as short, intermediate and long term measures to eradicate this acute problem.

AIM

5.The aim of this paper is to analyze the causes of power crisis in Bangladesh with a view to suggesting some measures to counteract the problem.

PRESENT CONDITION OF POWER GENERATION AND CONSUMPTION
6. Comparison among Regional Countries. The electricity demand in Bangladesh increases by 250-300 MW (10 percent) per year. Due to the shortage of available generation capacity in relation to the increasing tendency, Bangladesh power development board (BPDB) need to resort to load shedding. A relative comparison of using electricity between Bangladesh and other regional countries is shown below:

Serial| Country| Per Capita Use (KWh)| In comparison to Bangladesh| (a)| (b)| (c)| (d)|
1| Bangladesh| 150.97| -|
2| India| 597| 3.95|
3| Pakistan| 383| 2.54|
4| Sri Lanka| 284| 1.88|
Table 1: Comparison of Per Capita Consumption

7.Generation Capacity.Bangladesh has a total of 70 power generating units. Total installed capacity is 5425 mega watts including independent power plants (IPP). Reliable...
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