US envoy urges quick passage of power bills

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    A handout photo shows US Ambassador to Nepal Peter Bodde speaking at the Fulbright Water-Energy-Food Nexus Regional Workshop in Kathmandu on Tuesday

    KATHMANDU, FEB 11 – US Ambassador Peter Bodde has asked the government for a quick endorsement of the Electricity Bill and the Nepal Electricity Regulatory Commission Bill to boost Nepal’s hydropower sector.

    Speaking at the Fulbright Water-Energy-Food Nexus Regional Workshop on Tuesday, the envoy said that developing hydropower resources would significantly boost sustainable economic growth in Nepal, and stressed the need to develop a more robust electricity transmission network, both for internal and cross-border power lines.

    Ambassador Bodde said Nepal should focus on integrated management to set up a link between water and energy. “Hydropower is perhaps the obvious link for the purpose in the country,” he added.

    Nepal has immense potential for commercially viable hydropower. “This is enough to propel sustainable economic development in the country besides exporting clean energy throughout South Asia.”  He also praised the Nepal-India power trade agreement saying that this had helped facilitate project development agreements for two big hydropower projects, the Upper Karnali and the Arun III, while negotiations were underway for other projects.

    Two months ago, the US Millennium Challenge Corporation approved a compact with Nepal which will be focused on hydropower and provide significant financial resources.

    In addition, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing technical support for hydropower development. “USAID is also supporting a long-term programme to look at the economic, environmental and social impacts of development from a river basin perspective,” said Ambassador Bodde.

    The three-day workshop which began on Tuesday will discuss the perspective for developing a connection among water, energy and food to address issues related to environmental protection, food safety and energy supply.

    More than 90 participants including Fulbright scholars and research persons from across the globe are participating in the workshop where discussions are being conducted on the surging demand for water in relation to the growing demand for food and energy.

    Source : eKantipur