India opens real-time power market to Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh

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Bar to hydropower projects with Chinese or Pakistani involvement remains in place.
Ensuring export market is essential as many power plants are coming up in Nepal.
India has opened a door for its neighbours including Nepal to participate in the real-time energy market in addition to the existing access to the day-ahead market.

This allows Nepal to either sell or buy power in India’s energy exchange market as per the requirement, in real time. In the day-ahead market (DAM), the prices and quantity of electricity are determined a day before the actual physical trading.

Nepal had been seeking access to the real-time market (RTM) in order to avoid the spillage of electricity.

By amending the Procedure for approval and facilitating Import/Export (Cross Border) of Electricity by the Designated Authority issued in February 2021, the Central Electricity Authority under India’s Power Ministry granted Nepal as well other neighbours such as Bhutan and Bangladesh access to its real-time power market.

The amendment notice issued on July 31 states any Indian power trader, on behalf of any entity of a neighbouring country, may trade at Indian Power Exchanges (DAM/RTM/Both DAM and RTM segment), after obtaining approval from the designated authority, up to the specified quantum (megawatt) and duration.

Earlier, the option of giving access to the real-time market was kept open, but no provision for it had been guaranteed.

As per the earlier provision, any Indian power trader, on behalf of any entity of a neighbouring country, may trade in Indian power markets, after obtaining approval from the designated authority, up to the specified quantum and duration.

Such market access will only be available to the entity on behalf of whom the Indian power trader is trading. Likewise, the generating asset from which power is being traded should also be owned/controlled by the neighbouring country having an agreement on power cooperation with India.

The amended procedure has changed nothing in the provision which denies market access to projects with any involvement of Chinese or Pakistani entities.

“The Nepal Electricity Authority may benefit from it both in the import and export of power when there is a sudden rise or fall in demand,” said Prabal Adhikari, power trade director at the state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). “It can be beneficial even when a sudden outage takes place at a certain power project.”

He said that based on the template of the application request, Nepal could sell power generated from a single project in both the day-ahead and the real-time markets. “It has opened the door for us to sell power from 10 hydropower projects which have so far got approvals from the Indian authorities to trade in the two markets,” he added.

 

Source: The Kathmandu Post