KATHMANU: An estimated 500 megawatts of hydropower-generated electricity is being spilled due to a significant drop in domestic electricity consumption throughout the country during the festive season of Dashain.
The closure of industrial operations that typically contribute to heightened electricity consumption during this period, coupled with milder weather conditions in Kathmandu and the Terai, has resulted in diminished internal demand for power.
Despite the favorable situation with ample water flow in the rivers and streams, hydropower projects under the management of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), its subsidiaries, and the private sector are experiencing uninterrupted production.
Presently, the combined output from the NEA, its subsidiaries, and private sector hydropower initiatives amounts to approximately 2,200 megawatts daily.
Of this total, around 1,000 megawatts are consumed domestically, with an additional 650 to 700 megawatts exported to India.
Kulman Ghising, Managing Director of the NEA, highlighted the predicament, stating, “Due to the current limitations in electricity consumption domestically and pending authorization for further export to India, we are regrettably compelled to discard nearly 500 megawatts of electricity daily.”
Taking the festive decline into consideration, Ghising revealed that approximately 300 megawatts of surplus energy had been proposed for export to the Central Electricity Authority of India.
However, pending approval has resulted in the squandering of 500 megawatts of clean energy since the eve of Fulpati.
This inability to harness surplus electricity has led to substantial financial losses on a daily basis, he added.
Expressing optimism, Ghising anticipated swift approval for increased export capacity, asserting, “I am confident that the necessary approvals for expanded exports will be granted soon. However, in the absence of such permissions, we will continue to incur significant electricity wastage.”
The NEA has been channeling surplus electricity, accumulated during the monsoon season and after domestic consumption, for export to India.
Notably, the NEA has been selling approximately 110 megawatts of electricity to the Indian company NTPC Electricity Trading Corporation Limited-NVVN through various agreements.
In recent months, the Central Electricity Authority of India has authorized the export of 44 megawatts of power in the real-time market, as part of the approved 522 megawatts allocated for competitive market export.
Presently, a total of 632 megawatts are designated for export to NVVN, with 110 megawatts already in operation.
Since May until October, the NEA has exported electricity valued at Rs 11.80 billion 28 lakh to India.
The average rate of electricity exported to India over the past three months stands at Rs 10.27 per unit, compared to Rs 9.67 per unit in May and June.