Power sector crisis is being faced by not only Bangladesh but, I believe, by many other countries, particularly in South Asia and Africa. Thanks for your blog posting focusing on the ultimate impact of power shortages. As a result of urbanization and industrialization, the number of new motors, pumps and compressors in factories, and appliances and other modern gadgets in homes and new buildings, that all need electricity to keep running, have been growing at exponential rates, often outpacing economic growth rates, but at the same time, the availability and reliability of power supply keeps dwindling. As power engineering students we had learnt about “reserve margins” and how it should be ideally kept around 15-20% (based on developed country norms), but we never saw that happening in reality when we became practitioners… and, I believe, the saga continues… not much has changed in many of these countries ..for the last 20-30 years. In these countries, the energy – GDP elasticity remains high (while much of the OECD world has been successful in decoupling the two to a large extent) and the power system supply-demand gaps are mind-boggling... Your conclusions about the opportunity costs of unserved, underserved or poorly-served electricity in Bangladesh, even though extrapolated from the Nepal study, is right on the dot. In electricity outage cost research that I had done in 1990s, we had found similar estimates for India too, using willingness-to-pay and adaptive response approaches. Almost all industries had “adapted” to poor system reliability and set up back-up generation (mainly diesel and kerosene run gensets) and, using the latter as proxy, we had estimated that the customer outage costs in the Northern Region was higher than the average tariffs (of grid-based supply) at that time. For some of the batch-process industries, which could not withstand brownouts like even small voltage fluctuations , the WTP-based estimates were several-fold higher, of course. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V2S-3VTSRGN-5&_user=1916569&_coverDate=09%2F30%2F1996&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1441651185&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000055300&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1916569&md5=33cee54e4c0fb29f819fa82267c4ebde On the solution part though, I would like to humbly differ a bit from “hardly any alternative to rental power if we want to begin to alleviate the power deficit in the immediate future.” In addition to rental power, I think there are some other options, that Bangladesh power sector could consider (that OECD countries pursued since the late 1970s, and now also countries like India, China, Mexico, Philippines, South Africa, etc. have started putting massive efforts on). I am talking about pursuing both renewable energy options for the long run, but as short term solutions, reducing the apparent wastage of energy by seriously implementing energy efficiency improvements on a larger scale – all along the generation, transmission and distribution, and end-use chain. One of the small interventions that had been initiated last year with support from the Bank’s RERED Additional Financing project, called ELIB, targets end-use lighting efficiency improvements amongst the residential consumers in Bangladesh.. https://blogs.worldbank.org/endpovertyinsouthasia/bangladesh-sets-world-record-%E2%80%93-5-million-cfls-day-one-bulb-time but this is a drop in the bucket as far as untapped opportunities are concerned. A wide spectrum of many cost-effective measures to save energy exist across all other sectors (which are viable even when you consider Tk 3 per kWh cost of supply) -- ranging from the thousands of garment factories to the big public sector-owned, old fertilizer industries. And, most of these measures are quick to implement, if done right. In fact, in a first-cut analysis led by Prof Ijaz Hosain (of BUET) himself, that the Bank (along with GTZ support) had commissioned last year, we had assessed huge energy savings potential based on some selected illustrative project profiles across various sectors. For instance, retro-fitting and rehabilitating the six urea-ammonia fertilizer plants can potentially save up to 25 BCF of gas annually, or installing efficient electronic ballasts (in place of magnetic ballasts) in fluorescent tubelights in some 5000 garment and knitting factories is estimated to save 150 GWh/year. Generally being small and dispersed, implementation of energy efficiency measures is also a complex matter, especially when it comes to the demand side options (like the ones in factories, buildings and households). In addition to technologies, policies, programs and finance --- which sometime seem to be the relatively easier part to deal with, it takes a significant amount of effort and time to change the policymakers’ mindset and institutional governance systems which, for obvious reasons, are traditionally very supply-centric and oriented towards adding more and more generation capacities….