A colorful farmer’s road march was held on Wednesday (September 13) in Mymensingh demanding government financing for renewable energy and adoption of Agrovoltaic Program. The march, carrying banners, festoons and placards with various demands, started from the Mymensingh Town Hall premises at 10.30 am, passed various government offices and court quarters in Mymensingh city and finally re-turned to the Town Hall after crossing Zero Point. From the Road March, a strong demand was made to stop the production electricity by burning fossil fuels, especially coal and LNG, and adopt Agrovoltaic programs for renewable energy production.
The Road March is held in a joint initiative of Mati Bangladesh, Trinamool Unnayan Sangstha, VSO Youth Forum, Climate Change Network in Greater Mymensingh (CCNGM), Coastal Livelihood and Environmental Action Network (CLEAN) and Bangladesh Working Group on External Debt (bwged). More than hundreds of Farmers, students, teachers and various professionals and conscious citizens of all walks of life participated in the Road March and expressed solidarity with the demands of the farmers.
In a brief discussion at the end of the Road-March, the speakers said that the widespread use of fossil fuels for power generation is largely responsible for global warming and climate change. According to the Paris Agreement, if the increase in global temperature is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the use of LNG along with coal and other fossil fuels have to be cut down. Besides, it is necessary to convert to fair and green energy as soon as possible by investing in renewable energy on an urgent basis.
Climate of Bangladesh is very suitable for solar power. Once invested in a solar power plant, there are no other cost but maintenance costs for the next 25 years. It will save huge amount of capacity charge which the government has to pay for fossil fuel-based power plants. Besides, the cost of importing coal, furnace oil, diesel and LNG will be saved which will strengthen the country’s economy.
Speakers also said that the current government has taken a landmark step by formulating the “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan (MCPP)”. The MCPP has set landmark targets to ensure the use of renewable energy in power generation of 30% by 2030, 40% by 2041 and 100% by 2050. Scarcity of land is seen as our biggest challenge in achieving this goal for which the “Agrovoltaic technology” of solar power is rapidly gaining global acceptance as a solution.
If Agrovoltac program is adopted, as the production cost of the farmer will decrease, the farmer will also be able to earn additional income by selling the excess electricity to the national grid. Side by side, adopting the it will facilitate the achievement of the targets of the “Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan” if this technology can be rapidly spread.
Therefore, the speakers in the meeting strongly demanded the adoption of “Agrovoltaic Program” to achieve environmental food and energy security.