Sustainable renewable energy to protect environment
To protect environment, more emphasis is being put on increasing the production and use of renewable energy. Renewable energy is known around the world as 'Green Energy' or 'Clean Energy'--because it is environmentally friendly. Electricity is essential for socio-economic progress and improvement of people's living standards. According to Vision 2021, the government is committed to bring all the citizens of the country under electricity facility. The Department of Power has adopted energy diversification policy as one of the strategies--aimed at providing universal access to electricity and ensuring energy security. Under energy diversification policy, steps have been taken to generate electricity from environmentally friendly sources instead of conventional fossil fuels.
Significant increase in the use of renewable energy is one of the goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDC-6). Renewable Energy Policy of Bangladesh has set a target of generating 10 per cent of the total electricity generated by 2020, i.e., about 2000 MW of electricity from renewable sources.
The main sources of renewable energy are solar energy, hydro, biogas, biomass, geothermal, wave and tidal energy. Due to its geographical location, solar energy is the most promising source of renewable energy in Bangladesh. So far, about 328 MW of electricity has been generated using solar energy, most of which has come from stand-alone solar home systems in off-grid areas in remote areas. So far, about 5.5 million solar home systems have been surpassed. But with more than three acres of land required for each megawatt of solar power generation, land resources for setting up large-scale solar power plants are difficult.
For this reason, the issue of power generation by installing solar systems on the unused roofs of various installations connected to the grid, such as houses and factories, is being seriously considered. The installation of rooftop solar home systems will increase the contribution of renewable energy to power generation. Providing incentives to on-grid power consumers to install solar systems will encourage renewable energy-based power generation.
A review of history shows that in 1878, solar energy was invented in France as the first renewable energy. Later studies showed that the selenium used in solar panels converted the energy absorbed from the sun into electricity. Scientist Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921 for the production of solar energy by the sun. In the 18th century, the first renewable energy in the world was started with wind-powered windmills. By the 1930s, windmill-powered power generation was widespread throughout the United States.
Later, in the twentieth century, the spread of power generation by wind-powered windmills spread all over the world. Power generation by 'Wind Mill' has gained wide popularity all over the world as 'Clean Energy' as it is environmentally friendly. Statistical analysis shows that 3 lakh 41 thousand 320 wind turbines have been launched all over the world by 2018. At present about 15 lakh 55 thousand people are working in the world.
Bangladesh, one of the victims of climate change, is not far behind in terms of renewable energy. Several development partners and organizations including Germany are assisting Bangladesh in this regard and the government is also taking several initiatives to produce and use environmentally friendly energy. In particular, the use of biogas, solar energy as well as energy savings are becoming popular among people across the country.
The importance of renewable energy in tackling environmental disasters and climate change is immense. As the world's population grows, so does the imbalance of natural resources in developing countries. However, in many developing countries like Bangladesh, the importance of uninterrupted power generation to meet the basic needs of the people is undeniable. In this context, power generation through the use of coal, oil and gas instead of renewable energy is comparatively much more visible around the world to meet the needs of a growing population.
On the other hand, in some countries of the world, the popularity of nuclear power used in power generation is increasing to meet the demand of the growing population. Many countries are moving towards renewable energy instead of using nuclear energy in power generation, focusing on health risks in the ongoing corona epidemic. Studies show that uranium is used as fuel in nuclear energy. Even radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants used in power generation are released into environment, increasing health risks.
However, renewable energy plays an important role in protecting the environment as it does not emit harmful substances into the atmosphere. Although the use of renewable energy is limited, the use of renewable energy must be increased worldwide by prioritizing environmental disasters and climate change. The whole world is now in the throes of a deadly Coronavirus.
Under this circumstance, if the toxic elements continue to grow in the atmosphere, then there is a risk of another unknown epidemic ahead of us. Although the world has embraced the realm of renewable energy by embracing environmental catastrophe, from an ethical point of view, the use of renewable energy must be increased to combat global warming in the face of climate change.
The writer is a student, Environmental Science and Engineering, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University,