MoE, NEA at odds in demand projections
Kathmandu, March 8
There seems to be a huge mismatch in demand forecast of electricity made by the Ministry of Energy (MoE) and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA). While NEA has projected that the demand for electricity will hover around 3,200 megawatts in 10 years' time, the MoE says the current demand stands at around 3,000 MW.
In the 'Concept Paper on National Energy Crisis Prevention and Electricity Development Decade, 2016', which was approved by the Cabinet recently, the MoE has said that the national goal of making electricity accessible to each Nepali household can be achieved by generating 10,000 MW of electricity in the next 10 years. The government has envisaged complete electrification in the country by then.
In the concept paper, the MoE has estimated that the current load demand is more than double NEA's projection of 1,423 MW by the end of the current fiscal. The MoE has come up with higher figures considering that the country would see a boost in construction/expansion of electricity-based industries, structures if power supply was smooth.
"In forecasting load demand in such a way that it increases by 12 per cent every year and reserve margin to be 15 per cent of installed capacity by considering the existing electricity demand as double, it is estimated that load demand will hit approximately 10,000 MW in fiscal 2026-27," according to the MoE concept paper.
Based on the demand accrued in its current installed capacity, the NEA has assumed the demand in next 10 years will hover around 3,200 MW. As per NEA, the current energy deficit stands at 45 per cent.
The government has aimed to develop around a dozen reservoir projects within 10 years, which would contribute over 50 per cent of total electricity that the MoE envisages to develop within 10 years.
The government aims to evacuate 5,373 MW electricity through reservoir projects within 2026. The government has given priority to mega-projects, namely, Budhi Gandaki of 1,200 MW, West Seti (750 MW), Tamor (692 MW), Sunkoshi 3 (536 MW) Khimti Those (500 MW) and Nalsing Gad (410 MW). Other reservoir projects, Uttar Ganga (300 MW), Langtang (300 MW), Dudh Koshi (300 MW), Naumure (245 MW) and Tanahun Seti (140 MW) have also been proposed.
Similarly, the government aims to generate 1,975 MW from proposed peaking run of river projects namely, Tamakoshi 3, Lower Arun, Upper Arun, Arun 4 and Kimathanka Arun. Apart from that, 107 projects that are in different phases of construction after obtaining generation licence and will be constructed by Nepal government will contribute 2,587 MW of electricity in the national grid in the next 10 years.