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India working on a common power grid across South Asia, Ministry of Power
Dec 16, 2022

India working on a common power grid across South Asia, Ministry of Power
The country is on track to sourcing 62% of energy from non-fossil sources by 2030


India is actively working towards a vision to have an interconnected power grid across the South Asian region covering as many countries as feasible, said Mr Ajay Tiwari, additional secretary, Ministry of Power at CII South Asia (BBIN) Power Summit on Friday, i.e. 16 December 2022.

He estimated that going by the current pace and trajectory, India is likely to source about 62% of its energy requirements from non-fossil sources by 2030, exceeding the target it has set for itself for sourcing about 50% of energy requirements from non-fossils sources by that year. In 2022, India is already sourcing about 42% of its energy requirements from non-fossils sectors.

“India today has a very robust power grid running from North to South and East to West of the country. In future we would like to see the grid connected to neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and then expand that connection to Southeast Asian Countries, to emerge as a unified market” Mr Tiwari said. That will mean sharing of countries’ resources, investments, keeping the goals of energy security and affordability in mind.

“We are already working on that vision at a government-to-government level, as well as at a technocratic level to strengthen the grid interconnections between India and Nepal as well as India and Bhutan,” said Mr Tiwari. There is a proposal on the same lines from India to Bangladesh, which has received encouraging and positive feedback, he indicated.

Echoing the sentiment, Mr Prabhat Kumar, officer on special duty (economic relations and DPA), Ministry of External Affairs, said, “India is a large producer and consumer of energy. We are glad to work with our neighbours in the sector with our framework of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative. India will continue to take the lead to structure the partnership around production, transmission (of energy) in the region covering neighbouring countries in the South Asia region”.

Under the One Sun, One Word, One Grid Initiative, the Central Public Sector Enterprise Power Grid Corporation of India has drawn up several plans, said Mr Tiwari. “ The vision is to finally have an interconnected grid with Gulf Countries, and via Gulf countries to Africa and up north with Europe” pointed out Mr Tiwari, adding that plans are also being drawn to connect grids from India to Myanmar, Myanmar to Thailand, Thailand to Singapore.

In the last ten years, India has had interconnection with Bangladesh, strong connectivity with Nepal and import of power from Bhutan.  “(I believe) what India is doing today (in terms of quantum of energy exchange with neighbouring countries) can be doubled in the next three years,” said Dr Rajib K Mishra, Chairman, CII Core Group on Energy Security and Chairman and Managing Director, PTC India (formerly Power Trading Corporation).

Emphasising that for any market to develop, all the nations of the region have to be on the same footing – be it regulatory, market openness, cooperation between governments; and cooperation between industry, Dr Mishra called for the creation of a common platform at a time when an attempt is being made to create a power exchange in the region.

Citing the success of ongoing energy-related initiatives with Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh, Mr Kumar of MEA said besides hydropower, solar power will also be an important source of energy in these associations and India will soon strive to bring Maldives, Sri Lanka onboard as well.

Energy is a critical input not only for industry but also for ensuring wellbeing as it is an input for health and education sectors, said Mr Kumar, emphasising the need for cross-country cooperation in the sector.


16 December 2022

New Delhi

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