Nepal’s Industrialists Challenge Energy Policies Amid Discussions of Transboundary Energy Transition

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Industrialists in Nepal have expressed their concern over the implementation of demand-side management (DSM) by the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). The DSM measures, which impose load shedding on industries, have spurred discontent within the Nepal Industrial Enterprises Association. During a recent meeting, industry representatives articulated their grievances, claiming that while they are willing to pay electricity consumption charges, the DSM measures unjustly target industries, compelling them to operate at a diminished capacity and adversely affecting their productivity and economic contribution.

Industries Demand Fair Electricity Distribution

The association’s president, Rajesh Kaji Shrestha, underscored the necessity for a fair and transparent electricity distribution system that doesn’t discriminate against industries. Legal proceedings are currently underway regarding the DSM policy, with arguments being made that the current system is unjust and infringes on the rights of industries. The industrialists are advocating for swift resolutions to these issues, as they impact not only their operations but also the larger economic landscape of Nepal, a nation heavily reliant on the industrial sector for growth and stability.

Potential for a Transboundary Energy Transition

Meanwhile, Nepal has been contending with an excess of energy during periods of low demand. Simultaneously, Bangladesh grapples with load shedding during peak energy demand. Experts from countries including Bangladesh and Nepal have deliberated on the potential for green energy investment in the region. The discussions have centered around Nepal’s emphasis on hydropower and Bangladesh’s dependence on fossil fuels, hinting at an opportunity for a transboundary energy transition between the two nations.

Nepal’s Green Energy Profile

Nepal’s cost of generation of hydroelectricity is significantly lower than that of Bangladesh, making it a potential exporter of surplus electricity. Discussions about a possible bilateral energy pact between the two countries have taken place, with the need for India’s support and infrastructure to facilitate the power corridor. Nepal has requested India to accommodate the transmission of its power to Bangladesh, and India is considering proposals to allow Nepal to sell electricity to Bangladesh via Indian territory and infrastructure. Bangladesh has already finalized a power purchase agreement with Nepal to import 500 megawatts from the Upper Karnali Hydropower Project, with plans to draw electricity from this project by 2026. Nepal’s green energy profile is stronger than Bangladesh’s, boasting 122 hydro projects and a combined capacity of solar, thermal, and CO generation. India has also achieved its non-fossil-based installed energy target.

Source BNN