Bangladesh is at the front line of the impacts of climate change. Its low-lying coastal area is the most vulnerable to sea level rise, cyclone, tidal surges and salinity intrusion. Coastal infrastructures including embankments, polders, power generation centre etc. are severely affected by climate induced natural disasters. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report shows that the frequency and intensity of these disasters will be increased due to the changes in climatic system. This means these infrastructure would be affected more severely.
The only wind power generation plant of the country is located at southwestern part of Kutubdia Island which is fully exposed to the sea. Construction of the plant was started in 2007 and power production started in March 2008. Fifty generators with 50 fans are installed with 50 pillars. The pillars are 50 feet high from the ground. Each generator has the capacity to produce 20kw electricity if the wind blows at the speed of 14.5 m/s. There is a two-storied building for maintenance of the plant. Its ground floor is at the level of sea surface and first floor is little bit higher than the embankment which is close to be levelled to sea. All equipments including anemometer, thermometer, ampere meter, dry cell batteries etc are installed at the first floor. There are 1000 batteries with 12 V and 200 ampere each. This plant is the only source of electricity for the residents of Kutubdia.
The elevation of the island varies from 0 to 4 m only above the sea level and bounded by coastal embankment. But the embankment has been broken at many places including adjacent area of the power plant. There is clear evident of sea level rise caused by coastal erosion. The field observation also shows that the erosion process is continuing. A large part of the embankment close to the power generation plant has already been eroded during cyclone Aila and leveled to the seashore. During full moon and dark moon, foots of the pillars are flooded with high intensity of tidal waves. The only building for maintenance of the plant is now at the tip of the broken embankment. It seems a medium intensity tidal surge may wash away the buildings and equipments of the plant. The power plant cost Tk 93 million for 25 years' sustainability. But within two to three years, the plant is under threat to coastal erosion and climate change induced natural disaster. It is assumed that unless effective measures are taken immediately, the plant would be a history for Kutubdia as well as Bangladesh.