Planned energy emergency likely to last for 3-5 years

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    Nov 20, 2015- The Ministry of Energy (MoE) has been preparing to declare an energy emergency lasting three to five years as per the government’s plan to make the country self-reliant in energy by cutting red tape and launching a rush programme.

    The ministry is currently working on the legal nitty-gritty and is expected to present a bill to Parliament for its endorsement soon. The move follows Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s recent address to the nation where he had stressed the need to expedite the development of hydropower projects and alternative energy sources so that the country would not need to depend on imports, the ministry said.
    Once the energy emergency goes into effect, the government plans to minimize load-shedding and ultimately end it within a year.
    It will also create an atmosphere for developing the energy sector, managing transmission linkages and clearing legal hassles, among other measures, to ensure that there are no problems while developing energy projects.
    Energy Secretary Rajendra Kishore Kshatri said that the ministry was making preparations to develop 200 MW of solar energy. Additionally, the government has been pondering expediting hydropower projects.
    The ministry is of the view that there is a need to increase the consumption of energy in the internal market and boost output to 3,000-5,000 MW. According to Kshatri, it will take at least seven years to increase the production to 5,000 MW, so the energy emergency should also be extendable by at least two years
    “The primary objective of declaring an emergency is to eliminate bureaucratic and other hassles constraining the development of the energy sector,” said Kshatri, adding that the special provision would also discourage tendencies like strikes, activities challenging law and order and extortion. “Our aim is to make the process shorter.”
    According to Kshatri, the emergency will not suspend the rights of the people.
    There will be no change in the provision of providing compensation while acquiring land.
    To make sure that a bill is presented to Parliament at the earliest possible, the ministry is planning to make some amendments to the bill that was rejected despite the declaration of an energy emergency in 2008.
    That bill had proposed forming a commission to implement the energy emergency.
    This time, however, the government has planned to hand over executive power to the ministry and other concerned stakeholders.
    “We are conducting studies. We have to see whether this can be done under the provisions of the constitution or not,” said Kshatri, adding that the ministry had also been referring to the emergency laws in Bangladesh and the Philippines.
    Even though the government is considering adopting an old bill that was turned down by Parliament, it wants to make sure that the energy emergency produces results.
    “The times have changed and so has the context. The lifestyle of the people and their purchasing power too have changed. There is a feeling among the people that the country needs to be self-sufficient, which will be a plus point when declaring the emergency,” Kshatri said.

    The plan
    –    Government to develop 200 MW solar power plant
    –    Target of developing 3,000-5,000 MW hydroelectricity to be set
    –    Energy emergency to trim bureaucratic process in energy sector development

    Source : eKantipur