Laxmi Capital News
SAsia cooperation for electricity trade sought

Nepal’shydroelectricity can be a clean, reliable and affordable source of power forenergy-starved South Asia if the nations of the region forge a partnership toharness the abundant hydro resources and develop transmission lines and gridinterconnections by framing the necessary legal and regulatory framework.

As some countriesin South Asia have an experience of bilateral energy trade with India, thatexperience could be utilised for trilateral and multilateral energycooperation, according to stakeholders.

Speaking in thevarious sessions in the first day of the Nepal Power Investment Summitorganised by the Energy Development Council (EDC), Indian Ambassador to NepalManjeev Singh Puri, shed light on the energy cooperation between Nepal andIndia, which has ensured reliable supply of electricity and improved thelivelihood of people.

Currently, Nepalis importing around 400 megawatts of power from India. Citing the Indiangovernment’s target to expand the share of manufacturing to 25 per cent in itsgross domestic product by 2025, Ambassador Puri further said that Indiarequires a huge amount of power to achieve that target.

As Nepal has beenfacing power deficit in dry season and has surplus power during wet season,Nepal has proposed for ‘energy banking’ with India, which means, the quantum ofpower that Nepal supplies to the southern neighbour during the wet season canhelp the country minimise its electricity import bill from India during the dryseason.

Ambassador Purialso mentioned that India is the largest source of foreign direct investment inhydropower as two big projects — Arun III and Upper Karnali — each withcapacity to generate 900 megawatts have been initiated through Indianinvestment. He also advised investors to pay heed to the global fall in cost ofgenerating solar power and that solar energy is becoming more viable than othersources in recent days.

Also speaking inthe summit, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal, Mashfee Binte Shams, emphasisedon the need to develop legal and regulatory provisions for sub-regional andregional electricity trade. She said that Bangladeshi investors can invest inNepal’s hydropower sector if there is trilateral consensus between Nepal, Indiaand Bangladesh for electricity trade.

Bangladesh’scurrent electricity generation stands at around 16,000 megawatts and it willrequire around 34,000 megawatts of power by 2030 to sustain the higher economicgrowth of above seven per cent. As the nations have envisioned providing accessto sustainable, clean and affordable energy access to their citizens by 2030under the Sustainable Development Goals, Nepal’s hydroelectricity could beimperative for the rising demand of clean and reliable energy in the region,according to Shams.

In the programme,Secretary of the National Natural Resources and Fiscal Commission, BaikunthaAryal, spoke about the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Power of India onregional electricity trade, which is quite stringent. He laid emphasis onregional energy cooperation for mutual benefit of the region.

The summit wasinaugurated by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari.

The three-day longinternational power summit kicked off today with an objective to introduceNepal as a safe investment space, especially in the hydropower sector, and toportray Nepal as an investment destination that not only provides equal playingopportunities to foreign investors but also assures safe returns.

The event wheremore than 55 international speakers will be presenting their papers has beenparticipated by 350 delegates from 24 countries, including those from SAARC,Europe, China, South Korea and the US, among others.

“Whileneighbouring India has declared to develop 100,000 MW of solar power in thenext four years, the development of 40,000 MW of the same energy by Nepal inthe next 10 years is a realistic goal,” said EDC Chairperson Sujit Acharya.“Development of the aforesaid quantum of electricity will raise the per capitaincome of Nepalis to $5,000.”

Source:The Himalayan Times, 28th January 2018

Click here to download...!