Profitably Powering the Clean Energy Economy

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Dr. Daniel M. Kammen, Professor of Energy at the University of California, Berkeley, Director of Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) and Chair in the Energy and Resources Group (ERG) came to North South University on the 18th of February, 2018 to talk on “Profitably Powering the Clean Energy Economy”. This event was organized by the Office of External Affairs and facilitated by NSU HR Club. He informed the audience members on Bangladesh’s changing energy landscape—electricity for all by 2021, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and insufficient power supply of the rapidly growing demand for electricity. Dr. Kammen also showcased Bangladesh’s remarkable success in Solar Home System (SHS). When most countries were skeptic of solar energy system, Bangladesh became one of the pioneers to start this new program. He informed that Bangladesh, just starting from 2003, has the largest off-the-grid program in the world.

The 4.5 million SHS installed as of July 2017 are generating over 200MW of electricity. To illustrate the current situation of the energy/fuel system, Dr. Kammen used the analogy of the horse race where energies from solar and wind are going neck and neck and other forms of energy such as nuclear, water, coal are lagging behind. Then he informed that, the concept of energy storage was not even an option 15 years ago. It was when China started mass producing solar panels that the prices dropped significantly and people started relying on solar energy. Like a dark horse, SHS is sweeping in and winning the race for clean energy economy. Dr. Kammen stressed that Bangladesh has an ample amount of clean energy resources from which a profitable and empowering economy can be built.

Dr. Kammen is an expert in his field having authored/co-authored 12 books, written more than 300 peer-reviewed journal publications and contributing to Nobel prizewinning climate work with the professors at University of California, Berkeley. For his valuable words and time, Dr. Kammen was presented with a bouquet of flowers by the Director of External Affairs, Dr. Katherine Li and a crest by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Atiqul Islam as tokens of appreciation from NSU.