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India set to increase its ‘hydro power' investments in Nepal and Bhutan
Nov 16, 2018

India is keen to increase its ‘hydro power’ investments in Nepal and Bhutan as it looks to increase cross-border electricity trade and energy security with the neighbouring countries. This will also compliment India’s huge investment in renewable energy.

“India will give all its assistance to Nepal and Bhutan in the field of hydro power. Already, a lot of Indian companies have established their presence in these two countries. Going forward, investments will only increase,” said Mr Ajay Kumar Bhalla, Secretary, Ministry of Power, Government of India, in the South Asia Power Summit held on Friday.

A coordinated and comprehensive policy along with regulatory interventions have become the need of the hour today to meet the growing energy demand in the South Asian region of Bangladesh, Bhutan India and Nepal (BBIN).

The South Asian region can work in collaboration to create a transmission infrastructure as countries gear up to get the entire population under the power grid coverage and bring in a rapid change in the fields of connectivity, transit, energy or grid.

“Energy security, interdependency or using resources in a much more comprehensive manner by integrating the power structure will benefit each other,” said  Mr Bhalla in the day long conference organised by organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Power in collaboration with CII.

Mr Bhalla also reiterated on the growing importance of renewable energy and added that India is poised “to achieve by 40 per cent of the capacity target by 2022”, much before the stipulated 2030 target.

South-Asia region is currently witnessing growing imbalance between the demand for energy and its supply from indigenous sources resulting in increased import dependence. Demand for electricity in South Asia and particularly in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) is estimated to increase three times in the next 15-20 years.

Mr Dasho Yeshi Wangdi, Secretary Ministry of Economic Affairs The Royal Government of Bhutan, added: “There is a wide variation in the energy resources and demand and supply variation create excellent opportunity for cooperation to reap optimal benefit. Adequate studies demonstrate how electricity and trading can optimally benefit all countries.

Echoing the same sentiment, Dr Sanjay Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Government of Nepal, said: “There is a huge market in South Asia but the sharing of resources will help us achieve affordable energy.”

Currently, most of the nations are struggling to meet their common goal to increase electricity access, reduce shortages, and provide an affordable supply of electricity with an increasing share of cleaner sources of energy. The challenge lies, particularly when there is an intrinsic interplay of factors like political economy, natural resources, infrastructure, foreign policy matrices and international relations, in maintaining transparency and accessibility in the trade with counterparties.

16 November 2018

New Delhi 

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