Electricity consumption in Bangladesh for the year 2022 is significantly below the global average with a total of approximately 63 watts per person compared to the global average of 412 watts per person. The majority of this electricity comes from fossil sources, accounting for 56.33 watts per person, of which more than half, about 34 watts per person, is generated from gas. Coal contributes another roughly 9 watts per person. Low-carbon energy sources provide a miniscule amount, only a little over 1 watt per person. This energy comes from various sources with hydropower (0.65 watts per person) and solar (0.44 watts per person) taking the lead followed closely by biofuels and wind energy. The relatively low level of electricity generation may hinder economic development and pose challenges for infrastructural expansion in Bangladesh. It's important to also note that Bangladesh imports a significant portion of its electricity, with net imports constituting about 8.2% of its electricity consumption.
To increase its low-carbon electricity generation, Bangladesh could take a cue from other countries that are successfully generating substantial amounts of low-carbon electricity. Considering Bangladesh's geographical and demographical characteristics, it might take interest in Denmark, whose wind energy production amounts to 369 watts per person. Moreover, countries like Australia (generating 147 watts per person from solar) and South Korea (producing 371 watts per person from nuclear energy) might offer valuable insights too. While expanding nuclear capacity might be a long-term strategic decision given the required infrastructure and investment, boosting wind and solar capacity could be more immediate ways to increase low-carbon electricity generation.
A look at Bangladesh's low-carbon electricity generation history reveals a focus on hydropower, with some fluctuations in production over the years. In the early 1980s, an increase of 0.2 TWh was seen, which, however, was followed by a few years of decreases. The 1990s saw a similar trend, with modest increases countered by decreases. The tumultuous pattern continued into the 2000s with the net change generally revolving around 0.2 to 0.4 TWh. The year 2022 denoted a shift in the trend as solar power came into the picture with an increase of 0.2 TWh. This relatively recent advent of solar generation presents a promising shift towards a diversity of low-carbon electricity sources for Bangladesh in future.