19-point suggestions given to energy secretary

Kathmandu, December 7

The Energy Development Council today presented a 19-point suggestion to the energy secretary Suman Prasad Sharma with a view to alleviate the ongoing energy crisis.

A press statement issued here today said they recommended establishing Nepal-China Power Trade Agreement and importing electricity from China at the same or better terms than the PPA concluded via the Dhalkebaar- Muzzafarpur transmission line.

The council has strongly said that the PPA for all hydro power projects should be based only on “Take or Pay”.

The press release stated that the current practice in which Nepal Electricity Authority has stopped doing “Take or Pay” has blocked the production of domestically generated electricity and exacerbated the ongoing energy crisis.

Further, the statement said the PPA rate should be increased for all projects achieving Commercial Operation within December 2020 plus there should be annual escalation throughout the full term of PPA.

The council stated that there is immediate need to declare the PPA posted rate for electricity generated from solar, waste and other renewable sources as well as for storage based hydropower projects.

The council also recommended only one integrated Initial Environmental Examination (IEE) to be done for run-off-river and other power projects up to 100 MW.

The Council also suggested that the government mobilise Nepali army for construction of transmission lines. It urged the removal of all ‘clearances’ except the IEE and asked the government to specifically list the transmission line projects to be handed over to the army in its upcoming Energy Crisis Bill.

The statement also suggested that all forest related approvals should be from the ministerial level only and that the clause of one per cent extra tax (PES) imposed by Ministry of Forest and Land be removed as a gift to the government for leasing land.

With the intention of turning NEA into a profitable entity, the council proposed that the NEA management be outsourced via global competitive bidding with a commitment to generate 2,500 MW.

As per the press statement, Secretary Sharma completely agreed with the council’s view that management failure on the part of bureaucrats had led to such a crisis and he would try his best to improve the system to ensure progress of the energy sector.

The statement also recommended that the distribution rate be fixed and the private sector be allowed to sell electricity to its clients. Also, it urged fixing the net metering and Feed-in-Tariff rates for household level power generation.

Sharma said that the suggestions the council had proposed were relevant in the present context and effective measures would surely be taken to remove load shedding.

“For the government to successfully implement the prime minister’s objective of removing load shedding within a year, the EDC’s 19 point statement has to be immediately implemented,” said EDC Chairman Sujit Acharya, in the statement.