5th SAARC meeting concludes, energy cooperation framework agreement finalised

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    SaarcThe two-day long fifth meeting of the energy ministers of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations concluded here on Friday with the Ministers assurance to get the framework agreement for energy cooperation approved from their respective Governments so that it could be signed during the forthcoming SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in November, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

    This is a significant achievement of the ministers’ meeting, as this agreement has been pending since 2010 and is a crucial step towards developing a SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) on a regional basis.

    India proposed to host the Seminar on “Sharing Experiences on Energy Pricing Mechanism in the SAARC Region”. India also proposed to host the second meeting of the expert group on technology, knowledge sharing (including energy efficiency, coal, etc.) in 2015.

    Bangladesh will convene the meeting of energy regulators /bodies in SAARC countries by December 2014. The meeting noted that all the four expert groups have already finalized their Terms of Reference and work plans and urged the lead member states to continue convening of expert group meetings regularly, preferably on annual basis.

    The member states apprised the meeting of the initiatives taken with regard torenewable energy projects. The meeting referred the matter to the expert group on renewable energy for further deliberations. The meeting approved the 8 reports of earlier meetings of the working group on energy, separate expert groups on electricity, technology and knowledge sharing, renewable energy and the reports of the inter-governmental meetings on “Study on South Asian Regional Power Exchange”, organized by ADB.

    The Indian side presented two concept reports namely, “Framework for planning cross-border transmission links and associated system strengthening through joint system studies” and “Operation of stable and secure SAARC Electricity grids”. Bangladesh has also prepared the concept paper on “Structures, functions and institutional mechanisms for SAARC regulatory issues on electricity exchange/trade” and the same would be circulated among member states, shortly. Member States will offer their views on the concept papers by 31 December 2014.

    The next meeting of the SAARC Energy Ministers’ will be held in Nepal.

    Source : DNA