Sustainable Energy Sector for Fast Growing Economy like Bangladesh: How Relevant are the Past Asian Precedents?

Hasan Mahmud, Joyashree Roy


This article presents a comparative analysis of the historical fast growth phase of the selected Asian countries-South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and China and Bangladesh focusing on the energy sector. The countries fueled their fast growth phase in the past century by heavy dependence on high carbon fossil fuel. In the changed framing of development through climate change induced sustainability criteria, latecomers in the development process like Bangladesh of this century are better positioned to critically think in building a sustainable energy sector as majority of energy systems will be built now. Unlike Asian predecessors who might need to prematurely shut down carbon intensive energy facilities or decarbonize the existing ones at a high cost, Bangladesh has multiple opportunities to build new low carbon energy infrastructure avoiding high lock-in effect. For Bangladesh current power generation capacity is envisaged to grow by almost a factor of three over next two decades. Setting the goal of steering the energy sector on sustainable pathway through source diversification, cheap renewable and cleaner fuel penetration, energy efficiency, reliable access can not only drive the economic growth faster but positively impact human wellbeing and reduce inequity simultaneously for the fast growing Bangladesh through next two decades.


Asia; Sustainable energy sector; Bangladesh; Fast growing economy; Fossil fuel

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