Green Energy Based Third Industrial Revolution: Feasibility of Bangladeshi Textile Industries for Keeping Sustainability
Md. Shahadat Hossain
Working on sourcing liaison office in Dhaka of a retail brand
B.Sc. in Textile Engineering, Daffodil International University
Executive MBA in Marketing, North South University
Life of the world is so busy for keeping pace with the newest and updated version of communication technology but fall in the fear of global warming, at that time new industrial revolution is initiated with the motto of communication technology and green energy. This revolution has shifted to developing countries like Bangladesh. The newest and outstanding technology is also coming to use green energy and many countries are coming to the dependency on it not only for their home use but also for industrialization. As a textile industry based developing country Bangladesh has a great chance to take this opportunity. In this paper focusing on Feasibility of Bangladeshi Textile Industries, I would like to cover feasibility analysis of using green energy and also comparison with the conventional energy environmentally and economically.
Keyword: Green energy, Environment, Eco-compliance, Cost savings, Industrial revolution, Global warming, Developing country.
Textile processing industry includes spinning, fabric manufacturing, wet processing and garments manufacturing. In these processing steps high amount of energy is needed everyday i.e.; thermal energy required per meter of cloth is 4,500-5,500 Kcal and electrical energy required per meter of cloth is 0.45-0.55 kWh. This type of energy is usually fulfilled by the conventional energy like fuel oil and natural gas those dispose harmful pollutant into the environment and as a result depletes the ozone layer, creates green house effect and acid rain thus trends to us to global warming. At the same time due to exhaustible sources of conventional energy, the price is increasing up that does not indicate good sign for making profitability. The whole world would envisage serious energy crisis after 2050 due to indiscriminate use of coal and petroleum oil. Due to these restrictions of conventional energy, it is not familiar with the economy of Bangladesh as a developing country.
In the Global Economic Report of World Bank, WB says that the recent hike in the price of fuel oil will push up inflation in Bangladesh. So we should come to the best alternative of conventional energy for keeping sustainability. All over the world is deeply concerned about this matter and the reflection of their concern is the “Green energy based third industrial revolution”. Especially our neighboring country China and India are now enormously using solar power, wind power, wind energy and they make newest policy for renewable energy based industrialization. I think Bangladesh as a textile industry based developing country has greater extent of feasibility to exchange the energy system for developing industries as environment friendly with highest economic profit.
3. Concept of Third Industrial Revolution:
The introduction of steam-powered technology into printing transformed the medium into the primary communication tool to manage the first Industrial Revolution. Print material, in the form of newspapers, magazines, and books, proliferated in America and Europe, encouraging mass literacy for the first time in history. This industrial revolution (1830s to 1870s) included operations of coal-powered, steam-driven rail and factory economy. In the 1900s (decade), electrical communication converged with the oil-powered internal combustion engine, giving rise to the Second Industrial Revolution. This revolution was mostly Mechanical technology based which included electrification of factories and the automobile specially.
Today is a good day for all of us, because today is the beginning of the Third Industrial Revolution. Internet communication technology and renewable energies is giving rise to Third Industrial Revolution. This Third Industrial Revolution is the internet of energy and is not only about energy, It involves many key sectors, from raw materials to manufacturing, services, construction, transport, Information Technologies and even chemistry.”The main focus of this revolution on 3D technology, energy efficiency, resource efficiency, installing small and medium level enterprise, online marketing and management systems based on communication technology and green energy. The outside world (i.e.; EU, US, UK, Netherlands, Italy, China, India etc) are presently most concerned about this topic. Moreover we should be deeply concerned about that this industrial revolution has now shifted to developing countries including Bangladesh.
4. About the Green Energy:
The energy which is green in nature means the energy which is naturally sourced and cannot be accomplished hence can be replenished is called green energy or renewable energy and at present mostly known as alternative energy. Green energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal heat. Renewable energy sources also have a much smaller impact on the environment than fossil fuels, which produce pollutants such as greenhouse gases as a by-product, contributing to climate change. Gaining access to fossil fuels typically requires either mining or drilling deep into the earth, often in ecologically sensitive locations.
Green energy, however, utilizes energy sources that are readily available all over the world, including in rural and remote areas that don’t otherwise have access to electricity. In the past three decades, research and development in green energy has exploded, yielding hundreds of promising new technologies that can reduce our dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas. Green energy, however, utilizes energy sources that are readily available all over the world, including in rural and remote areas that don’t otherwise have access to electricity. Advances in renewable energy technologies have lowered the cost of solar panels, wind turbines and other sources of green energy, placing the ability to produce electricity in the hands of the people rather than those of oil, gas, coal and utility companies. Green energy can replace fossil fuels in all major areas of use including electricity, water and space heating and fuel for motor vehicles.
5. Problems Incurred with the Existing Conventional Energy:
Existing energy has tremendous impact on our environment hence it does not indicate positive sign to the environmental compliance issue which is a major point of concentration for keeping the sustainable position. Besides it the frequent price up of fuel, improper supply regarding to increasing demand is the matter of discord, though a number of new power plant is coming.
5.1 Environmental hazards:
Burning more fuels causes more CO2 emission to the atmosphere which results the lighter the ozone layer, lighter the ozone layer means UV rays comes direct to earth surface which causes temperature rise of the earth and eventually so many natural calamity and our environment is frequently polluted. In Bangladesh CO2 emission is 0.3 ton per person per year which is even lower than the average emission of 1.6 tons a year by other developing countries. The developed nations emit 15 to 20 tons of CO2 a year. Unfortunately our country continues to pay a heavy price in respect of lives and property loss for fault committed by not only developed nations but also by our activities. Green house gases (i.e.; CO2, CH4, O3, CFC and N2O) are emitted frequently due to the use of conventional energy.
5.2 Cost analysis and shortage of supply:
In our country huge amount of energy is required as well as the demand is increasing day by day (i.e.; The country’s energy demand is actually growing annually at 14 per cent) due to large number of textile processing industry but deficit is still remaining with the increasing price of non renewable energy (fuel, natural gas) though 27 more power plant is currently under construction and more power generation as compare to the previous time. In January 2009 when present government came to power, the gas production capacity was 1750-1800 MMCFD.
The demand was about 2000 MMCFD. Most of the major gas transmission pipelines were relatively free of accumulated condensate. Even in four years since then PetroBangla claims to have increased gas production to 2250 MMCFD. Though no new major gas consumers came on stream the deficit widened to at least 500 MMCFD. Quality of supply to all end users has deteriorated. Besides this condition the government raised prices of diesel, octane, kerosene and petrol on January 3 for the fifth time in past four years to cut down on subsidies. The prices of petrol and octane were raised by Tk 5 per liter, and diesel and kerosene by Tk 7.
6. Environmental Consequence with the Upcoming Nuclear Power Plant:
Nuclear power plant is our dreamful project which is going to be initiated at Rooppur. By implementing this project we can hope to fulfill our frequent energy demand but at the same time we should be deeply concerned about the consequence thus detrimental impact on the environment. Disposal of radioactive waste is frightening problem of nuclear power plant. It should be pointed that radioactive wastes are mainly of three types- low level waste, intermediate level waste and high level waste. The low and intermediate wastes are those whose activity concentrations are relatively low and their half lives are lower than 30 years. The high level waste’s half-lives could be as high as 10000 or more years and hence it will remain radioactive for few tens of thousands of years. The low and intermediate wastes can be stored above ground under human supervision for few tens of years until they become non radioactive. But as high level waste takes thousands and tens of thousands of years to become non radioactive, the same provision cannot be applied for this type of waste. They need to be stored deep underground so that human intrusion does not take place for hundreds of thousands of years. When high level wastes are packaged in containers, one has to mind whether the underground water will be acidic or alkaline or other words take into consideration it’s pH level.
7. Use of Environment Friendly Green Energy:
Green energy are so called environment friendly because of it’s compatibility with nature and it’s sourcing from nature. Many of the world famous industry have been using renewable energy i.e; Atlanta-based modular and broadloom carpet manufacturer Interface Inc. is now fulfilling 28 percent of its total energy need from renewable inputs such as solar, hydroelectric, landfill gas (LFG) and geothermal and the other such remarkable companies around the world are Spartanburg-based textile and chemical manufacturer Milliken and Company, Dalton, Ga.-based Shaw Industries Inc., Canada-based contract, residential, outdoor and apparel fabric producer Victor Group Inc., Orwigsburg, Pa.-based knitwear and fabric producer etc. Some of our companies like Viyelatex Group are trying to follow them and come to the use of green energy. All of our textile producer should follow the policy of using green energy and so run the business environmentally efficient for the sustainability of our textile trade in the near future.
7.1 Solar energy:
Solar energy technologies include solar heating, solar photovoltaic, solar thermal electricity and solar architecture which can make considerable contribution to have a sustainable energy system. The main input of the solar energy is the solar radiation. At earth surface solar radiation varies over the day and the year. In Bangladesh monthly daily solar radiation is in the range from 4.0-4.5 kwh/m2/day. Institute of renewable energy, University of Dhaka in association with the national Renewable Energy Laboratory (NERL) in USA and DLR laboratories in Germany prepared solar radiation maps over BD.
Solar photovoltaic system: Photovoltaic systems (PV system) use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. A system is made up of one or more photovoltaic (PV) panels, a DC/AC power converter (also known as an inverter), a racking system that holds the solar panels, electrical interconnections, and mounting for other components. Optionally it may include a maximum power point tracker (MPPT), battery system and charger, solar tracker, energy management software, solar concentrators or other equipment. A small PV system may provide energy to a single consumer, or to an isolated device like a lamp or a weather instrument. Large grid-connected PV systems can provide the energy needed by many customers. The electricity generated can be either stored, used directly (island/standalone plant), or fed into a large electricity grid powered by central generation plants (grid-connected/grid-tied plant), or combined with one or many domestic electricity generators to feed into a small grid (hybrid plant). Systems are generally designed in order to ensure the highest energy yield for a given investment. Typical panel ratings range from less than 100 watts to over 400 watts. Costs of production have been reduced in recent years for more widespread use through production and technological advances. The average retail price of solar cells fell to $2.43/watt. For large-scale installations, prices below $1.00/watt are now common. Crystal silicon solar cells have largely been replaced by less expensive multi crystalline silicon solar cells, and thin film silicon solar cells have also been developed recently at lower costs of production. Although they are reduced in energy conversion efficiency from single crystalline “siwafers”, they are also much easier to produce at comparably lower costs.
Solar Water Heating System (SWHS): Our RMG industry is boiler based because it requires hot water at every time of it’s processing. Other textile industry also needs boiled water for the processing steps. These industries are fully dependent on fuel or gas for heating the water. Solar Water Heating System (SWHS) is a solar energy based water heating system which consists of a hot water storage tank and hot collectors. A black absorbing surface ( a special chemical coating surface) inside the collectors and absorbs solar radiation and transforms the energy to water flowing through it. A recent study conducted by UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) based on tannery Industries of Bangladesh shows that the systems are capable to deliver hot water 65-70 degree Celsius in a normal sunny day whereas the requirement is 45-65 degree Celsius. For case study they installed SWHS at three tanneries (400,400 and 1000 liters/day). Installation cost of 1000 liter system is around BDT 175000 including installation, plumbing and commissioning charges. The lifetime of such a system is 15 years. The payback period of this solar water heating system is 4 to 6 years in comparison with existing gas based water heaters. Tannery industry could save 2.67 million cubic feet of gas per day if they adopt Solar Water Heating System (SWHS) while carbon emission by the industry would fall 5594 tones. 21.75 kg CO2 emits from 100 liter water heating using natural gas. Depending on demand of tannery and radiation availability if one uses SWHS 275 days/year, he can save 6 ton a year and 90 ton CO2 in whole system. Experts suggest that this system would be the best alternative of natural gas based boiler in the textile industry of Bangladesh. Globally this system is mostly used. At present hot water uses 174 GW of energy across the globe, most of the energy comes from solar thermal. About 68 percent of hot water Chinese industries use comes from solar thermal. If China, EU, Japan, US achieve their goals they will reach up to combined total 1180 million square meter of water and space heating capacity by 2020. China and Indian Government are proactively promoting solar water heater as a part of their environmental measures.
7.2 Wind power:
Bangladesh is so called the land of rivers. There are thousands of rivers and tributaries throughout the whole country. Bangladesh has the highest density of rivers and tributaries in the world. We have got two natural gifts, one is the rainy season coincides with the peak demand season and another is the river banks, inland island, remote and isolated coastal areas and offshore islands have been gifted with good winds both in the summer and in the winter season. So there is an enormous prospect of installing wind turbine in our country. There are basically two types of turbine, big wind turbine and small wind turbine. Experts think that consider to investment, transport, maintenance, profit and as regarding to Bangladesh small wind turbine is more suitable. A 20 KW wind turbine occupies only 5’*5’ land. SWTS require batteries and invertors. In association with the batteries, the SWTS can generate stable and industrial quality electricity at 380 volt, 3 phase and 50 Hz levels. The generation costs of each unit of electricity (KWH) will only 20% of that from the solar PV system. The SWTS can be installed on the ailes by the side of the agricultural lands and also on the rural roads. These can be set up on the roof of the buildings. In 2007 for the first time KWPP (Kutubdia Wind Power Plant) was installed. There have been 11 big and medium scale cyclones from 2007 to date. The 50 wind turbines of the Kutubdia Wind Power Plant (KWPP) are still running well without any major failures. This project is a live example to show the capabilities and determination to harness the cheapest form of energy. Till the end of 2010, the KWPP had generated only about 1500000 KWH. But if the KWPP would have been free from the dependency upon some other factors at Kutubdia and Cox’s Bazaar, the KWPP could generate more than 3000000KWH. Unfortunately, we could not overcome the barriers/problems created internationally by some people to satisfy their own personal ill motives. So there is more possibility of installing wind turbine power plant supplying energy to Textile sector.
7.3 Energy of biomass:
Biomass can be generated through wood-waste (sawdust), animal manure, organic waste or agriculture waste which can be either vegetable waste, sugarcane bagasse, rice husk or mustard cake (after retrieving oil from mustard). All of these are good sources for biomass gassifiers and has 60% methane which is combustible gas and can run engine, generate electricity or directly be used as thermal energy for dyeing mill. For best efficiency in biomass the moisture content required is 8-10%. The textile industries of our neighboring country, India is now using biomass energy and consultancy firm like Emergent Ventures India (EVI) is continuously giving technical support to them. A few Indian textile companies which have gone for biomass grassfires are Jayashree Textiles, Renuga Textiles, Gupta Exim, Richa Knits and many other is planning to install the biomass project. As an agro-based country we can use huge amount of agro-waste and also use huge amount of other waste for getting substantial energy for our textile processing industry.
Hydropower is generated by the Earth’s water cycle, including evaporation, rainfall, tides and the force of water running through a dam. Hydropower depends on high precipitation levels to produce significant amounts of energy. Large hydropower projects that interrupt the natural flow of a river and damage downstream ecosystems, but small-scale hydroelectric systems (also known as “micro hydro”) that operate “run of river” have little environmental impact because no large dams or reservoirs are built. Although arguably the most cost-effective way to generate renewable energy, micro hydro requires very specific conditions: at least 2 gallons per minute of flowing water, living on or near an active stream or river, and a decent amount of drop. You’ll also need to shelter your water turbine from inclement weather, which means building a small shed or waterproof vault. Many micro hydro systems can generate 75 to 350 kWh per month, according to Scott Davis, author of Micro hydro: Clean Power from Water (New Society Publishers, 2003). Unlike solar and wind, micro hydro requires much less battery storage than the other technologies. Energy experts think that it can supply 10 to 100 times more power than photovoltaic panels or turbines for the same amount of capital invested. Depending on where it’s situated, the average system will cost about a few thousand dollars – $10,000 for really large systems.
7.5 Geothermal power:
Just under the earth’s crust are massive amounts of thermal energy, which originates from both the original formation of the planet and the radioactive decay of minerals. Geothermal energy in the form of hot springs has been used by humans for millennia for bathing, and now it’s being used to generate electricity. In North America alone, there’s enough energy stored underground to produce 10 times as much electricity as coal currently does. A geothermal heat pump system costs roughly $2,500 per ton of capacity, according to the California Energy Commission, so an average-size home using a 3-ton unit would end up paying $7,500 or so. Of course, you’ll also have to include the cost of drilling to your tab; how much exactly depends on how your system will be positioned, whether it’ll be wedged vertically deep underground or horizontally a shorter distance below ground. Drilling costs can fall anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000.While a geothermal system costs more than a conventional oil- or natural-gas-dependent system, the cost of running heat pumps is actually 30 to 40 percent less than a conventional system that runs fossil fuel, meaning you’ll be able to save enough on reduced heating and cooling bills to break even in two to ten years. Durable and almost maintenance-free because their components are sheltered underground away from the elements, geothermal heat pumps are guaranteed to last 25 to 50 years.
8. A Pathway to the Environmental Compliance Along with The Economic Flexibility:
The world is now more conscious about the social and environmental safety hence there has been rising awareness of global environmental and social problems as large international buyers have stipulated their own codes of corporate ethics and noncompliant suppliers are therefore being forced to reconsider these standards in their own operations. So the concept of green product design and development is so called issue. Green product design, also known as design for environment, design for eco-efficiency or sustainable product design, involves proactively addressing environmental considerations in the earliest stages of the product development process in order to minimize negative environmental impacts throughout the product’s life cycle. Green product design can encompass material selection, resource use, production requirements and planning for the final disposition (recycling, reuse, or disposal) of a product. If we can use green resources of energy, the other requirement will be much easier. The matter of hope for us that many of our textile processing industries are successfully run their business with eco-friendly activities i.e.; waste water treatment control, air emission, noise and sound cleaner production, sludge management, chemicals and hazardous materials management. 25 of those enterprises got award for eco-compliance on last February 19.So we can hope for such type of factories where all the energy can be supplied from renewable energy sources for getting environmental compliance standard. Renewable energy has the economic flexibility as compare to the existing conventional energy because it is not exhaustible and only installation cost with comparatively less maintenance cost, no need to expense for energy at every day.
9. Initiatives should be Taken by the Industry as Well as the Government:
Conventional energy is exhaustible, environmentally hazardous as well as high cost consuming trends to serious energy crisis. So to avoid energy crisis and for greening our industrialization to save the environment, at any way we should come to the green energy. Outside world is more concerned about this matter so we should follow them as well as our Government should give enormous support for implementation. Our neighboring country India is now producing 6000 MW of electricity from wind power. Indian Government is giving priority to environment friendly and energy efficient industrialization. They have asked their banks to lend up 30 percent of total cost of SWHS system. Indian Government is implementing the Jawaharlal Nehru National solar mission (2010-2022). Other countries including China, Japan, Lebanon and South Africa has so far targeted their mission to get enriched with renewable energy uses for most of their industrialization process as well as home use.
The word of hope for our country is that solar home system is being popular day by day and a number of industry are much more concerned like Viyelatex Group about greening their process. It is hereby noted that the government has recently set a target to increase the country’s share of renewable energy to 5.0 per cent by 2015 and 10 per cent by 2020. To implement the plan, Bangladesh needs $3-4 billion for which the country is making approach to donor agencies like the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other agencies and international investors. The government has to create an environment so that donor agencies and private investors take interest to mobilize their funds and invest in renewable energy sector. A professor and director of BIBM said that Bangladesh needs huge financial support with no conditionality or rational conditionality to follow the green path. It also requires technological support. In this connection, the responsible group of countries should come up with their respective shares. Green economy expert Mr Habib said that to move towards a green economy, government should take necessary steps to enforce existing environmental regulations and formulate appropriate rules to ensure ‘Polluter Pays Principle’ in the country. He also suggested that The Central Bank of Bangladesh can play a pro-active role in formulating a national level ‘Green Credit Policy’ and creating a sound incentive structure for performing ER (Environmentally Responsible) practices by banks. Much more is expected from NGOs and civil society organizations in the form of awareness development, research activities and business monitoring. So the Government should be consent with this expert’s thinking and also prevail on it.
We are now living in the global village of technology and making profit is our main motive but we should think about the life and should run the business not only for the profit but also environment friendly because the threat of environment is the threat for our safe life. Our responsibility is to save the environment and also leave a fair environment for next generation for what we must have to rely on green resources because green energy is the continuous gift of god which can be replenished and it has the compatibility with the environment.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.