India Calls for A Robust Power Grid in SAARC Region
April 27th, 2011

India has called for integrating the entire SAARC region by a robust Power Grid system to address power deficit in South Asian Countries. Speaking at the Round Table Conference on ““Promoting Investment Opportunity in Power Sector in South Asia: Leveraging Cross Border Power Trading”, Minister of State for Power, Shri K.C. Venugopal said here today that a SAARC power grid linking Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka has the estimated potential to install at least 1,00,000 MW in the region for common use among its member countries. He added that although India has reached a significant installed capacity of 1,72,000 MW, the shortages have been in the range of more than 8% in the energy and 10% during the peak hours. Its revised 11th Five Year Plan target of capacity addition is more than 60,000 MW, which is more than the total capacity added in the previous two Plans.

Shri Venugopal said that although the issue of cross border trading is a complex one involving market, technology, finance and most importantly geo-political issues, there has been some success as well. One of the good examples of cross border power trading is between Bhutan and India and also to certain extent between Nepal and India. Bhutan is supplying almost 1200 – 1400 MW to the Indian grid and the arrangement between the two countries has been working to the satisfaction of both sides. The Minister added that the success of power trading between Bhutan and India has encouraged the two countries to take up more hydro projects through cooperative ventures and many Indian public sector companies are engaged in collaboration to add 10,000 MW capacity in Bhutan by the year 2020.

Expressing satisfaction on increasing private investment in power generation, Shri Venugoapal said that out of more than 58,000 MW power projects under construction, private developers are supporting about 32,339 MW. Thus Indian power sector is showing good example of Public-Private Partnership to enhance generation capacity and overall electricity availability in the country.

The one day conference was attended by the delegates from India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka and deliberated on current level of energy trades particularly electricity between India and neighbouring countries.

Source – Press Information Bureau

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