Upper Tamakoshi (456 MW) has been generated and 400 MW of electricity is being wasted daily due to the lack of increase in electricity consumption in the country. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is losing Rs 40 million every day due to this.
According to NEA Executive Director Kulman Ghising, even though 1,500 MW (peak demand) was consumed for some time in the evening, there is 400 MW of spill. NEA’s ‘base load’ is about one thousand megawatts. The highest demand is for a few hours only.
Ghising said that the amount of such reserve electricity will reach 600 MW as the demand for electricity decreases from next September.
“Consumption will be even lower from September onwards due to Dashain, Tihar, festivals, and closure of industries,” Ghising also said that NEA is losing Rs 40 million daily due to wasting 400 MW of electricity. “The biggest challenge for NEA is to have electricity reserves for now,” Ghising said. “NEA is seriously working towards increasing consumption.”
“We are holding discussions with various ministries of India through our diplomatic channel,” he said. “A decision will be taken soon.” (NVVN) signed an agreement on ‘Day Ahead Power Trading’ on April 22, 2019.
NVVN has the arrangement to purchase electricity from IEX and give it to NEA. NEA has been importing electricity since May 1, 2021, through the established mechanism as per the agreement. But India has not yet approved the proposal to export electricity generated from Nepal.
NEA has proposed to export electricity generated from Upper Tamakoshi (456 MW) and Upper Bhotekoshi (45 MW). The same proposal is being discussed among Indian bodies.
If the proposal to export is approved in the same way as it is being imported from IEX, NEA can consume all the reserve electricity during the rainy season. A unit of electricity at IEX costs up to Rs 20 per unit at midnight.
The market has shown that electricity consumption in India is high during the rainy season and demand is high but supply is also limited. Last year, NEA imported electricity worth Rs 22 billion from India.
At present, NEA has its own installed capacity of 626.70 MW in 22 powerhouses. According to the total installed capacity, before the Upper Tamakoshi came into operation, NEA alone generates 2,800.883 gigawatt-hours (2.8 billion units) of electricity. This electricity is 45.84 percent of the total electricity generated in the country.
Last year, 8.87 billion units of electricity were available in the NEA system, including those imported from the private sector and India. Now that all the six units of Upper Tamakoshi are fully operational, the installed capacity has been cut to 1,900 MW and the reserve has started during the rainy season. Besides, 108 private sector projects are in operation. It has an installed capacity of 814 MW.
All private power plants produce according to their installed capacity in the rainy season and only one-third in the winter.