Govt set to declare ‘energy emergency’

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    Nov 18, 2015- The government has been making preparations to declare an ‘energy emergency’ in a bid to address the crisis that has gripped the country. According to Deputy Prime Minister and Energy Minister Top Bahadur Raymajhi, the ministry has been working on the particulars and is expected to come up with a concrete plan within a week.
    “We have been pondering several ideas. The government will take a concrete step within a week,” said Raymajhi without divulging further details. Government sources said the government was identifying short-, mid- and long-term plans to mitigate the energy crisis.
    The Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal had recently urged the government to declare an energy emergency in the country and put in place necessary arrangements to speed up the construction of hydropower projects. The association has estimated that 10,000 MW of electricity will be required to deal with the severe energy shortage that the country is currently suffering from, and it has asked the government to declare Nepal an energy crisis-hit country until the target was achieved.
    A source at the Energy Ministry said that the government was working to make the country self-sufficient in energy. “We have learned a lesson. The blockade imposed by India has made it clear to the government that there is no alternative to becoming self-sufficient in energy,” the source said.
    According to the Energy Ministry, the government will also take serious note of the failure of the energy emergency declared in December 2008, and make plans accordingly. The announcement made through a Cabinet decision had decided to set up thermal plants by mid-June to add some 200 MW to the national grid.
    Nothing had come of the 2008 energy emergency declared during the tenure of the then Water Resources Minister Bishnu Prasad Poudel due to the absence of plans and programmes.
    Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli too has stressed the need to expedite the development of hydropower projects and alternative energy sources to become self-reliant in energy in his maiden address to the nation on Sunday.

    Source : eKantipur