Preparation underway to announce ‘Energy Decade’

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The state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has traded 1.30 billion units of surplus power at competitive rate in the India Energy market as of Tuesday. 

The Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation is undergoing preparations to announce the ‘Energy Decade’ to produce around 20,000 megawatts of electricity within the next decade.

Speaking at the 30th-anniversary programme of the Department of Electricity Development today, Minister for Energy Shakti Bahadur Basnet shared that preparations are underway to announce the energy decade with an ambitious target of generating 20,000 megawatts of power in the next 10 years.

“The process of forming a working committee and making the necessary preparations for this have reached final stage,” he said. Stating that issues faced by the private sector will also be addressed under this initiative, he emphasised on the need for cooperation between the government and the private sector.

Minister Basnet also stressed the need to be aware of the impact of climate change alongside the development of the energy sector.

Similarly, Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, secretary of the ministry, informed that the draft of the electricity bill is ready and preparations are underway to get it ratified by the Council of Ministers within one week. “The necessary process will be continued after the bill is registered in the Parliament,” he said. Stating that electricity production is increasing in Nepal, he said it is likely that the country will continue to generate surplus energy in the coming years.

Meanwhile, Chiranjeevi Chataut, director general of the department, urged the ministry to pay attention to manpower and resource management as the responsibility of the department is also increasing. “The role of facilitating hydropower promoters can be made effective only through timely mobilisation of resources,” he said. Chataut also informed that the royalties received from hydropower projects are increasing and that around one trillion rupees is being invested in the hydropower sector annually.

Furthermore, Ganesh Karki, chairman of the Independent Power Producers Association of Nepal (IPPAN), said that some hydropower projects have not been able to operate at full capacity due to the lack of necessary infrastructure related to transmission lines. “As a result, the produced electricity could not be supplied to the designated locations.

This has also made investors insecure about their investments,” he said.

Stating that the lack of necessary infrastructure has also made banks wary of further investing in the hydropower sector, the IPPAN president stressed the need to extend the deadline for licences for power production. “Since it takes a lot of time from the preparation of the project to the start of production, private promoters are seeking extension of the deadline,” he said. In addition, he said that the electricity purchase agreement should be opened immediately as demand is increasing both internally and externally.

Also, Executive Director of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) Kulman Ghising confirmed the issues raised by IP- PAN. Stating that there is a problem with electricity ‘evacuation’ in the Dordi corridor under the Marsyangdi corridor, he informed of similar issues in the Koshi, Tamakoshi, and Chilime corridors. He also clarified that the rumour of around 500 megawatts of electricity being wasted in the market is not true. “Only 50 MW is being wasted during the night time while it is being fully utilised during the day,” Ghising said.

Source: The Himalayan Times