Telltale discrepancies mark power output goals

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    The lack of coordination among government agencies is glaring. The government has prepared its 14th periodic plan without properly consulting the ministries concerned.

    The 14th plan — prepared by the National Planning Commission (NPC) — has claimed that the country is to generate some 1,500 Megawatt (MW) of electricity in the plan period, whereas the government’s plan for fighting the energy crisis targets generating 2,209 MW in the next three years.

    This discrepancy is not surprising as the various plans and policies have been fomulated at the whim of some people around the centers of power. Had there been some realistic planning in the past, the country would not have missed most of the targets of the 13th periodic plan.

    The incumbent government’s populist ‘Energy Crisis Related Work Plan 2072’ announced back in February set a target of generating 10,000 MW in a decade and totally ending the energy deficit within the next two years. It has projected generation of some 2,209 MW in the next three years. This is rather above the 14th plan target of 1,500 MW. The plan also spans three years.

    The Ministry of Energy is claiming that it will follow its own target and action plan. “We will follow our own ministry work plan,” said its chief of Planning Division, Dinesh Kumar Ghimire. He said he does not know how the planning commission arrived at its projection figure.

    He, however, did not rule out the possibility of amending the 14th plan approach paper prepared by the planning commission. “Since the approach paper is yet to be finalized, it could be amended according to the ministry’s target,” he said, adding that the periodic plan projections need not be final.

    Talking to Republica, Ghimire said the approach paper and work plan could be at variance, but the government’s objectives, goal and strategy are the same.

    The 14th plan has targetted generation of 1,500 MW in the plan period and also commencement of construction work on projects with capacities totalling 2,200 MW in the same period..

    However, the ‘Energy Crisis Related Work Plan 2072’ has set a generation target of 1,450 MW hydropower, with the remainder to be generated through alternative energy — including wind, solar and bio — to meet its 2,209 MW.target. “Since the domestic production can reach 2,209 MW in three years, there will be no more load shedding,” the work plan says.

    According to the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the total power generation in fiscal year 2013-14 was 778 MW. The 13th periodic plan had targetted increasing the power production to 1,426 MW. However, by the end of the plan — July 15 — the total capacity is going to reach only 829 MW. Going by the precedents, engineers at NEA claim that meeting the target will be a herculean task.

    NEA official also claimed that meeting the target of the 14th plan is impossible due to lack of inter-agency and intra-agency coordination. “The 14th periodic plan should be in line with the ministry’s energy crisis work plan,” he added.

    NEA has projected electricity demand in the next three years at 1,837 MW. According to the government utility, NEA and its subsidiary companies are going to generate 830 MW, whereas the private sector will be able to contribute 600 MW by then. NEA plans to meet the remaining demand through alternative energy.

    The 13th plan failed to meet targets in energy generation and also in access to electricity and construction of transmission lines.

    Source : Republica