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Report: Many marginalized people still lack energy access

  • Published at 10:50 am June 24th, 2020
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Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The report demonstrates that a range of energy access interventions is needed to achieve SDG7

A lack of understanding about the best methods for delivering electricity and clean cooking for poor people at scale prevails, and many of the most marginalized people are still left behind.

This information was revealed in a new report, launched on Monday.

The report "Poor People's Energy Outlook (PPEO) 2019" was released by global development charity Practical Action in the virtual inaugural ceremony of the 20th National Renewable Energy Conference & Green Expo 2020 – which stressed on achieving energy access from the village to the nation. 

Salman F Rahman, private sector industry and investment adviser to the prime minister, was present as chief guest. 

Prof Dr Akhtaruzzaman, vice-chancellor of Dhaka University chaired this virtual conference, and Dr Atiq Rahman, executive director of  Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, presented the keynote.

This year, as in previous years, the PPEO is critical reading, providing an important perspective on showing the connections between planning, finance, and delivery. The report offers a comprehensive framework for a more bottom-up approach to providing energy access. 

By focusing on the most vulnerable, often considered the last mile the outlook recommends to pursue holistic approaches, address demand, not just supply, embrace inclusivity, increase public funding, champion women’s inclusion, and support multi-stakeholder processes to make sustainable energy for all a reality in everyone’s lives. 

The report demonstrates that a range of energy access interventions is needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) seven.

Holistic effort to tackle energy access challenge

Bangladesh Country Director of Practical Action, Dr Shawkat A Begum, said: “Tackling the energy access challenge, and ensuring it meets the needs of energy-poor communities, will require a holistic effort. 

“The research 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.”

“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,” she added.

Salman F Rahman said: “Countries like Bangladesh that are feared to be amongst the worst affected countries by climate change need to promote green energy strategies to replace fossil fuel-powered energy.” 

He emphasized on Bangladesh government’s effort on promoting renewable energy as a major tool to combat climate change and urged to scale up the innovative and adaptive technologies. 

Prof Dr Akhtaruzaman, put emphasis on the efficient use of renewable energy with a focus to reach the most marginalized people and our vulnerability to climate change.

Welcoming the release of Poor People’s Energy Outlook 2019, Dr Sultan Ahmed, secretary of Power Division, Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources, mentioned that 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 Aminbazar to make the most use of the huge amount of waste produced in Dhaka every day.


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