Mr S C Garg while addressing the stakeholders at the Inaugural session of the 3rd edition of the “CII South Asia Power Summit” at the Le Meridien, New Delhi on 5 September 2019 said that India has multiple resources for power generation like hydro, solar, coal, etc., which needs to be exploited. India has the scope of exporting 75,000 MW of hydro generated power to resource deficient neighboring countries. There is interdependence amongst the countries in South Asia and it makes commercial sense to cooperate in areas like jointly exploring resources (particularly Sri Lanka and Myanmar), integrated transmission network and free participation of entities / producers from other countries like Bhutan, Bangladesh etc. He urged the private sector to invest and jointly cooperate in the 2.5 Lacs MW potential that exists in the South Asian region and to make Shri Narendra Modi, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India’s mantra of “One World, One Sun One Grid” a reality.
Re-emphasizing on India’s unique geographical location in the South Asian region, Mr SN Barde, Chief Executive Officer, GMR Energy, highlighted that India is a leading power generating country amongst the BBIN Nations (Bhutan, Bangladesh, India & Nepal). Mr Barde welcomed the announcement of the New cross border trade regulations released by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) and that it is a big milestone in providing optimization of tariffs which will invariantly benefit all member nations. However, issues of cross – border transmission infrastructure in the South Asian region still need to be addressed. All BBIN nations are looking at reducing their carbon footprints by integrating power produced by renewable energy into their grid. However, Mr Barde believes that it is imperative that the issues of instability and intermittency of renewable energy are addressed to ensure seamless power trading across the South Asian borders. The European Union is an example where the countries have successfully achieved to integrate renewable energy into their grid and thereby slowly phasing out nuclear energy in the process.
Reiterating the importance of cross – border cooperation, Dr Rajib K Mishra, Director – Business Development & Marketing, PTC India said that the most important commodity which will bind BBIN countries for next two decades is power trading and water resources. Dr Mishra urged that the best energy should be generated, transmitted and distributed amongst BBIN nations and should be a win-win situation for all. Cooperation and confidence among the countries is important for the success of cross border power trading and exchange.
Mr Rahmat Ullah Mohd Dastagir, Additional Secretary, Power Division, Government of Bangladesh while addressing the participants said “As per World Bank, Bangladesh is the 3rd fastest growing in economy South East Asia with a GDP growth rate of 8.1%. The government of Bangladesh is working towards structural and policy changes to make 100 per cent electricity access by 2022”. He further added that Bangladesh has witnessed success stories of cooperation with India and is exploring possibilities of bilateral partnerships for connecting cross border intermission lines through North East and East India. He highlighted that Bangladesh is open to exporting huge surplus power generated in winter month to neighboring countries.
“It is an important time for bilateral relations for power trade”, said Mr RV Shahi, Former Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India. Transmission and Infrastructure is being developed between the BBIN Nations and currently 3000 MW of cross border is taking place. Further, 3500 MW is in the pipeline and 6000 MW is in the planning stage. He concluded saying that in the next 5 years there will be a potential 13000-14000 MW cross border power exchange.
Mr Dinesh Kumar Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Government of Nepal concluded the Inaugural Session by highlighting that interdependency is important rather than being self-reliant. He emphasized that trans-border trade is beneficial for optimum economic utilization of resources, ensure reliability of power, help environmental conservation and lead to social upliftment. From 2000 onwards several bilateral partnerships between Nepal and other BBIN Nations has been signed. Nepal and India are jointly working towards 11 linkages and detailed project reports have been submitted to respective governments. He mentioned that Nepal would be trading in 5000 MW of power and there is a huge opportunity for BBIN nations to invest in Nepal especially in the hydro power sector.
5 September 2019