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Staff Correspondent: The government has decided to provide prospective consumers with over 600,000 new electricity connections by December this year.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources at Bangladesh Secretariat on Sunday with State Minister for Power and Energy Muhammed Enamul Huq in the chair.
Prime Minister’s Power and Energy Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Power Division Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad and managing directors of power distribution agencies attended the meeting.
The new connections would require additional 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, an official who attended the meeting said, adding that the Power Division would not face any problem in supplying the additional electricity as it targeted to generate around 1,200MW of additional electricity by then.
The government will install new electricity connections phase by phase and start issuing new demand notes after receiving applications in this regard.
The meeting also decided to give priority to new consumers who would take lead in installing solar systems.
The government hopes it will encourage the urban consumers who are reluctant to install new connections over mandatory installation of solar panel. The Dhaka Power Distribution Company and the Dhaka Electricity Supply
Company installed around 5,000 new connections so far.
Consumers, who need to install 5MW of electricity, would require permission from the Power Division, the meeting sources said.
The Power Division has permitted new connections to over 0.2 million consumers with requirement of 339MW of electricity, following issuance of the demand notes from November 7, 2010 across the country, an official said.
Over 830,000 consumers had applied for new connections, which would require around 1,500MW of additional electricity.
New residential consumers requiring more than two-kilowatts of electricity would have to meet 3 percent of their electricity requirement from solar energy. Readymade garment sector consumers, having a sanctioned load of three-kilowatt or more, should have renewable energy source to meet five percent of their electricity requirement.
Commercial consumers using three-kilowatts or more would have to meet seven percent of their electricity requirement from solar energy.
New industrial clients requiring three-kilowatts or above will require solar power backup for 10 percent of their electricity needs.
The country’s renewable energy policy aimed at increasing electricity generation from renewable sources to 450MW or 5 percent of the country’s total power generation by 2015.
On November 7 last year, the government had decided to allow power distribution agencies to resume connections on condition that consumers would install solar panels of specified capacity.
The government had suspended issuance of the demand notes since 2008 due to short supply of electricity.