Until 2016, Nepal suffered from chronic power shortages. At that time, just 65% of the country’s population had access to electricity. Assessing the situation, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) estimated that the country has the potential for 2.1 GW of installed PV capacity. Although the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has officially been able to buy solar power under long-term PPAs since July 2014, the majority of projects granted these contracts have been large-scale hydropower plants. Following slow activity, plans are finally afoot, however, to boost the country’s solar footprint.
Foreign direct investment into Indian solar concerns from China and other neighboring countries will now have to secure the approval of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.
The government has signed Memorandum of Understanding with Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar to inter-alia improve power connectivity and enhance energy trading in the region.
The Indian Ministries of External Affairs and Power, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organized the South Asia Power Summit 2018, held recently in New Delhi. The daylong conference highlighted that diversity of energy resources in South Asian countries brings the opportunity to provide affordable, low-carbon energy in the region. The business case for enhanced energy trading in the region, and challenges faced in inter-country electricity trading were important elements of this discussion.
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