Nepal still lack surplus energy consumption plan while total installed capacity exceeds 1600 MW

KATHMANDU: Though gradually, the energy capacity of the country has been increasing in recent years. However, due to the inability to formulate an action plan for internal consumption, a large amount of electricity has been wasted or is set to be wasted in days to come.

As per Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), about 900 MW of electricity will be wasted at night times during the rainy season. While energy produced from different projects is being linked to the national grid gradually, lack of effective energy consumption plan has led to waste of large volume of the produced energy.

As the first unit test of Upper Tamakoshi has started, the total installed capacity of energy has reached an average of 1610 MW. This is an important achievement in itself. According to Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, the project can contribute 1 percent to the GDP when all the six units of Upper Tamakoshi come into operation.

As Nepal’s total installed capacity in the energy sector grows, fears are on rise that a large volume of electricity will go waste. Such concerns were widespread even during the construction of the Kaligandaki project. The project also had a capacity of 144 MW.

As energy produced from Upper Tamakoshi has been connected to the national grid, the issue regarding energy waste is again in the surface. Though many measures can be taken to consume electricity, government policies and practices are not focused on increasing consumption.

The government has not been able to come up with a stable policy to increase the use of electric vehicles. The use of electric vehicles has not increased due to policies and programs that change every year. Similarly, the government has not been able to boost consumption of electric stoves over liquified petroleum gas. NEA has not been able to come up with any program to improve the system, increase the capacity of the transmission system and provide relief and discounts.

As per NEA, the total installed capacity of the private sector alone has reached an average of 900 MW. Out of the total installed capacity, the private sector is currently generating 860 MW of electricity. NEA itself has an average installed capacity of 655 MW.

The government has been saying that it will export electricity on a one-to-one basis. Although it is said that surplus electricity will be sold in India, there is no further clarification on technical and theoretical issues. As India’s electricity is comparatively cheaper than Nepal’s, it is not easy for Nepal to find a market in India.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday July 8, 2021, 01:28:49 PM |

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