Development needs energy. The reliable and efficient provision of modern energy services is a key to reducing poverty as well as boost economic development. Presently Bangladesh is generating almost sufficient power to the present need, but still a certain percent of population have no access to electricity. Though it is one of the least energy consuming countries in the world but gradually its energy demand is increasing exponentially with the steady GDP growth of more than 6% over last decades. However, Bangladesh has managed to graduate herself to a lower middle income country. The Government of Bangladesh also has a vision to ensure energy security and electricity for all to achieve the status of middle income country by 2021.
As per the projected growth, Bangladesh needs to promote a more efficient use of existing energy resources, both on the supply and demand sides. In this situation, Government of Bangladesh is more interested to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficient technologies in addition to the conventional energy. Moreover energy efficiency improvement has become a great concern to reduce the misuse of electricity in innovative ways especially in commercial sectors both for energy conservation and economical gains. It has been observed that, in most of the commercial places, a huge amount of electricity has been misused for daytime lighting. However presently the share of electricity consumption in lighting sector is more than 15% of the total power generated, whereas electricity consumption by industries in lighting is around 30% (Source: BUET). Under such circumstances, alternate energy is a viable measure for industries to reduce fuel consumption and production cost and thereby to remain competitive and increase profitability.
Our traditional mindset promotes to meet energy crisis only by increasing energy production, but not by adapting alternatives. It means more consumption of fossil fuels, more carbon emission and leading the future to an uncertainty as well as creating energy crisis.
In this situation, energy efficiency improvement and alternate energy sources could be instrumental to reduce the misuse of electricity to address energy crisis through a proper demand side management plan. Nurturing innovations and ideas can play a vital role in this regard. Industrial skylights could be such innovative and cost effective way to channel natural light through a reflective hallow pipe into the industries and ensure proper illumination without any electricity.
SED programme, GIZ along with CHANGE and BUET initiated the “R&D Project of the Industrial Skylights” to develop prototype, implement the pilot, monitor & evaluate and expand nationwide. The project found industrial skylights significantly viable replacing electric bulbs in industrial settlements and ensuring required illumination without any electricity. The initiative could also be a popular initiative to reduce significant amount of CO2 emissions. So far the initiative has been implemented in various industrial settlements and government warehouses.