India sets up high-level group for South Asia energy security
While India has been procuring hydropower from Bhutan, it is also supplying electricity to Bangladesh and Nepal
The center has set up a high-level group to help build a South Asia-focused energy security architecture.
The high-level group, headed by former Union power secretary Ram Vinay Shahi, is named the South Asia Group for Energy (SAGE). It has been set up under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)-run think tank Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), according to a LiveMint report.
According to a government document reviewed by Mint, “The objective is to achieve a balanced and optimal development of energy infrastructure through mutual understanding and cooperation. SAGE will have the role of promoting, initiating, and facilitating effective policy dialogue and capacity building on a bilateral, sub-regional and regional basis for energy and related issues, among South Asian countries."
While India has been procuring hydropower from Bhutan, it is also supplying electricity to Bangladesh and Nepal. The plan now is to include the option of building an overhead electricity link with Sri Lanka. India is trying to create a common pool for neighboring countries and has an installed power generation capacity of 373.43 gigawatts, the report noted.
India has already notified cross-border trading regulations. The proposed market, which will include Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, could aid regional peace and improve utilization of generation assets—including the stranded assets in India—and efficient price discovery.
“There is an urgent need, and a tremendous scope, for enhancing per capita consumption of energy, particularly electricity, in South Asia, for its overall development. Towards this end, cooperation among South Asian nations can lead to optimal solutions with benefits to all, besides also addressing climate change concerns." the report quoted the government document.