The country is likely to have an energy surplus during the rainy season after four years due to completion of some of the key power projects.
By 2017 a number of major power projects will complete but the country has no plan to use surplus power.
Of the total power generation, the day time power surplus will be wasted as the excess power could be consumed in the evening, said NEA managing director Arjun Karki at a programme ‘National Dialogue in Power Sector Reform in Nepal’.
According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), after 2017, the power projects like 456-MW Upper Tamakoshi, Upper Trishuli 3A, 14 MW Kulekhani III, 30 MW Chamelia and a few more power projects by private sector will complete and the power generation during the rainy season will exceed the demand.
The current peak hour demand of 1,150 MW will go up to 1,640 MW – according to the demand calculation of Nepal Electricity Authority – by 2017. But the national pride project Upper Tamakoshi is going to be completed by 2017, whereas Chamelia, Kulekhani III and Upper Tamakoshi will complete before 2017.
The electricity authority has been reluctant in entering into power purchase agreement – of a combined capacity of around 4,000 MW – with private developers due to possibility of surplus and no means to utilise it, apartfrom lack of transmission lines to evacuate the power.
Due to locals opposition in land acquisition for transmission lines, the government has not been able to construct new transmission lines, Karki said, adding that the NEA has not been able to construct transmission lines despite an adequate budget for erecting transmission lines. “The government has allocated a budget of Rs 14 billion in the current fiscal year for transmission lines.”
He also said that the NEA was in the process of upgrading transmissions lines on different corridors from eastern to western Nepal.
The World Bank has been insisting NEA to unbundle before the multilateral institution pour more money in hydropower in Nepal, he said, adding that the state power utility would unbundle itself within few years.
Stressing the need to unbundle the NEA, chief secretary Lilamani Poudel – on the occasion – said that there should be separate company to construct transmission lines. “Lack of transmission lines has been a major stumbling block for the development of hydropower,” he added.
Due to single buyer – NEA – and multiple sellers, the power sector has a distorted market price situation, said president of Independent Power Producers’ Association Nepal (IPPAN) Khadga Bisht.
The Nepal Electricity Authority currently generates, distributes and purchases electricity itself.
Bishta also asked the government to introduce Electricity Act – that is pending at Parliament – for the power sector development.
But Energy Minister Radha Kumari Gyawali promised to introduce the Electricity Act soon.