The Ministry of Energy is drafting an action plan to end the energy crisis on the basis of the recently launched National Energy Crisis Reduction and Electricity Development Decade master plan.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy Top Bahadur Rayamajhi on Thursday said the action plan would incorporate the structural reform of various government bodies and authorities besides the formation of separate entities. “This will open the doors to hydropower development,” he said, addres-sing the National Seminar on Energy Economics of Nepal organized by the Society of Economic Journalists Nepal.
Rayamajhi said the government was considering all possible alternatives to generate more power, but hydroelectricity would be at the top of the agenda. “The government will initiate the process to speed up the construction of a few large hydropower projects that have been stalled due to various problems within a few weeks.”
Chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Energy and Agriculture Gagan Thapa said that the panel would try its best to address the regulatory bottlenecks under its jurisdiction.
Rabindra Adhikari, chairman of the parliamentary Development Committee, criticized the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) calling it one of the “major obstacles” to developing hydroelectricity.
“NEA officials fear that if the supply of hydropower surpasses demand, it will incur heavy losses and become ruined,” he said. “The government must come up with a plan to make NEA officials feel secure.” Various participants at the seminar highlighted the need for an up-to-date energy policy to solve the severe energy crisis. Sher Singh Bhat, deputy managing director of the NEA, said that the country needed a new electricity act. “The new law should include the formation of a central planning authority to forecast energy demand besides preparing a long-term supply plan for at least 25 years,” he added.
The master plan endorsed by the government in mid-February aims to add another 839 MW to the national grid during the dry season next year. The country’s power output currently stands at 780 MW which drops to 300 MW during the dry season. Similarly, the plan envisages generating 1,339 MW during the wet season in the second year.
The plan is based on generating an additional 400 MW from run-of-the-river projects, importing 92 MW from India and producing 200 MW through solar and wind power plants and 930 MW from Kulekhani 1 and Kulekhani 2 reservoir projects.
As per the plan, 100 MW of electricity will be generated in the first year by harnessing solar and wind power, and the capacity will be doubled in the next year. As of now, no proper feasibility studies have been done for big-scale wind energy projects, and the country lacks policy and regulatory frameworks.
Source : The Kathmandu Post