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Interconnected power market is India's chance to use cleaner hydropower:ADB

A single interconnected power market is a clear win for the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) countries, said ADB Director

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Hydropower. Photo: Reuters

South Asian countries will be greatly benefited by a single that will also give a chance to replace its fossil fuel-based generation with cleaner hydropower from countries like and Nepal, according to

The unanticipated shortages in one country's power grid can be readily solved by imports from a neighbouring grid, said a blog written by Priyantha Wijayatunga, Director (Energy Division) for South Asia Regional Department.

A single is a clear win for the (SASEC) countries as the power systems of all countries would be integrated through adequate cross border transmission capacity to share power with each other, he said.

"Under this arrangement, smaller countries like and Sri Lanka would rely on market to provide reserve generation capacity, lowering their own investment costs, while fossil fuel-based generation in Bangladesh and would be replaced with cleaner hydropower from and "

Besides, given the different times of peak power demands of neighbouring grids, one grid doesn't need to generate all its power to meet peak demand, it can instead buy from another grid for partial requirements, and vice versa, Wijayatunga wrote.

This "resulting diversity" reduces overall investment needs in energy generation plans, he said.

It is beneficial to have a grid-to-grid connection for direct transfer of power from one grid to another instead of exporting power from a generation plant to a grid, the blog said.

Like in case of India-Bangladesh power trade agreement, the latter now imports up to 500 megawatts from under a 2013 project supported by a $112 million loan, he said.

This grid-to-grid connection has significantly improved power supply and cost as well as power interruptions in Bangladesh, where shortages are rampant.

"The two countries are now looking to double capacity of their power trading arrangement financed through another loan of $120 million," he said in the blog.

Wijayatunga further said the current bilateral power trade agreement among SASEC countries need to gradually expand in volume as well as beyond two-country agreements.

"Some initiatives in this regard can already be seen, like the agreement to export power from a specific generator in to Bangladesh through transmission grid in India, and preliminary discussions for Bangladesh to invest in a hydropower plant in Bhutan," he said.

"We hope they will further expand in the near future. More bilateral and multilateral power trading can pave the way to developing a single in the SASEC region that will benefit all countries," the blog said.

First Published: Sun, December 10 2017. 14:33 IST