Global energy experts have gathered in Dhaka to discuss the implementation of an inter-connected regional electricity grid and commencing multilateral energy trade among the member countries of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). The discussion are part of a two-day conference on Enhancing Energy Cooperation starting today.
Industry representatives and stakeholders from BIMSTEC countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have gathered at the conference, jointly convened by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and BIMSTEC. Regional energy cooperation is aimed at replacing fossil fuel imports by switching to non-fossil fuel generation such as wind, solar and hydropower.
Increased access and availability of electricity is of particular relevance to the BIMSTEC region as some of its member countries are still in the process of providing 100 per cent energy access to their people.The region is also home to a population of 1.65 billion and is among the fastest growing regions in the world, with a combined GDP of US$ 3.75 trillion.
“The region is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it is heavily dependent on energy imports. BIMSTEC wants to promote energy security in the region by promoting power trade and development of clean energy resources such as hydropower and renewable energy,” M Shahidul Islam, Secretary General of BIMSTEC said.