Kathmandu, Jan 17
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been struggling to manage adequate electricity supply for domestic consumption amid a plunge in production and surged demand.
With a fall in temperature, the domestic demand for electricity hit as high as 28,854 MWh on Saturday. The NEA, however, supplied only 27,544 MWh of electricity, including domestic production and energy imported from India. As a result, a total of 1.31 million units of electricity fell short against the domestic demand on the day, according to the NEA.
Suresh Bahadur Bhattarai, spokesperson of the NEA, said the authority has started importing electricity from India after a sharp decline in the local electricity production with the beginning of the dry season. According to him, the NEA however is struggling to import electricity in adequate amounts even from India.
For the past few days, the NEA has been bidding as high as INR 12 (Rs 20) per unit to purchase electricity from India. Prior to this, the authority had been paying between INR 7 (Rs 11.2) to INR 8.5 (Rs 13.6) per unit to purchase power from the day-ahead market of the Indian Energy Exchange Limited. “However, we are not getting to purchase electricity even at the higher rate now,” said Bhattarai, adding that the situation could be due to the short supply in India itself.
Currently, Nepal has been importing 265 MW of electricity from India per day. On Saturday, the country’s peak demand reached 1,591 MW, out of which, 1,126 MW were supplied from domestic production, according to the NEA.
The authority earned Rs 8.32 billion by exporting electricity to India during mid-August and mid-December. After the production of electricity by the run-of-river based hydropower projects declined following the decrease in water flow in the rivers, the exports came to a complete halt for the past one month.