Steps to Realizing SDG 7: Building Capacity of Energy Auditors in Bangladesh

Jan 30, 2018

Fig 1: In January 2018, UNDP Seoul Policy Centre helped organize an energy audit training provided by five Korea Energy Agency audit experts to build capacity among 32 Bangladeshi practitioners from the public and private sector with support from SREDA and UNDP Bangladesh.

Sustainable energy is an opportunity—it can transform economies, lives and the planet. SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy) focuses on this, with a target focused on doubling the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.

UNDP’s Seoul Policy Centre has been focusing on various SDGs in developing its programmatic approach known as Development Solutions Partnership (DSP) to connect Korea with the wider UNDP network and enhance the Korea-UNDP partnership on strategic development issues globally. The DSPs create and deepen cooperation among Korea, the UNDP’s Policy Centre together with UNDP’s relevant global/regional teams, and partners in developing countries including the relevant UNDP country offices and their national counterparts.

After organizing and facilitating research, study visits, conferences, and producing policy briefs on the theme of energy efficiency policies and practices, last year we launched a new DSP on sustainable energy audit. It is aimed at adapting relevant policy approaches from the Republic of Korea identified in cooperation with Korean counterparts.

The Korea Energy Agency (KEA) is the main Korean partner in this initiative. It has considerable experience in energy efficiency and energy audit practice and policy development in the Republic of Korea. As a follow up to an inception mission in June 2017, and in response to expressed request from Bangladesh, five experts from KEA traveled to Bangladesh to provide training on energy audit practices in Korea. The training consisted of two days of practical classroom training followed by a hands-on training/study visit at a local textile factory.

A total of 32 trainees—representing government agencies, private sector and academia including two women energy experts—were interested to learn about energy audit as practiced in an OECD DAC country like Korea. The cohort of trainees varied also in terms of experience level—some were experienced energy auditors while some had only rudimentary knowledge of energy audit issues. At the end of three days, the participants provided constructive verbal and written feedback on the usefulness of the training, how it was delivered, suggestions for follow-up and main needs for energy audit training in Bangladesh.

Overall, we have heard that the participants found the training substantive and useful. Some compared the openness and level of expertise of Korean trainers with other international trainers and expressed preference to work with Korean experts more.

Fig 2: Feedback on usefulness of the energy audit training; 13 out of 25 survey respondents found the training very useful

Overwhelmingly, they requested more follow up training with sectoral and Bangladesh-specific focus such as on textile industry, steel, glass and ceramic, oil, pulp and paper, cement, cold storage. The training sessions were interactive and the participants highlighted the need for promoting energy audits in the industrial sector and for controlling the quality of audit service.

The UNDP team (from Seoul Policy Centre and Bangladesh Country Office) and the Korea Energy Agency team utilized the few days in Bangladesh also to have strong substantive discussions with various experts including the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) and KOICA on how our energy audit DSP can achieve a meaningful sustainable impact. Day four of the mission culminated in a high-level policy workshop where the Honorable Advisor to the Prime Minister on Energy, Power and Mineral Resources spoke as Chief Guest along with the Secretary of that Ministry, the head of SREDA, the KOICA Country Director and various energy and energy efficiency researchers of Bangladesh.

This emergent DSP in energy audit cooperation is meaningful in a number of ways especially as Bangladesh’ growing industrial sector is ripe for interventions to sustainably raise energy efficiency; and the government is committed to allocate funds to this end. UNDP through its robust partnership with Korea Energy Agency is in an ideal position to bring in Korea’s expertise and experience in energy efficiency and audit practices to Bangladesh—which is welcomed by the energy practitioners in this country.

We have identified an initial list of follow-up areas, which we will finalize so that we can continue to build the cooperation between KEA and SREDA through the bridging role provided jointly by UNDP’s Seoul Policy Centre and our dedicated colleagues at UNDP Bangladesh.

Fig 3: Factory visit and hands-on energy audit training.

 

Fig 4: Energy audit training participants recieve certificates from Hon’ble Advisor to the Prime Minister Dr Tawfiq E Elahi Chowdhury.

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