September 16: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been found purchasing electricity from India last year at 2.44 percent high rate. This was revealed in the annual report of NEA which was published recently.
According to the report, NEA purchased 1 kWh of electricity from India at Rs 7.95 during last fiscal year. The amount is 19 paisa more than the rate of the previous fiscal year 2076/77. In the previous fiscal year, NEA had purchased electricity from India at an average of Rs 7.76 per kilowatt-hour.
While the NEA has been purchasing electricity from India at a higher rate, it has been paying less for the electricity produced by the private sector of Nepal. The average rate of electricity purchased from the private sector has decreased by 19.26 percent in the last fiscal year. Last year, 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity was purchased from the private sector at Rs 5.86. In the previous fiscal year, electricity was purchased at Rs 7.25 per kilowatt-hour.
Similarly, the import of electricity from India has also increased in the last fiscal year. Indian electricity imports have increased by 63.45 percent in the last fiscal year. According to the statistics, 2,826 gigawatt-hours of electricity was imported in the last fiscal year, which is a massive increase compared to the previous fiscal year. In the previous fiscal year, 1,729 gigawatts-hour of electricity was imported.
Lately, electricity production in Nepal is growing. However, most hydropower projects are based on river current, and production declines during the winter season. This is when electricity is imported from India to meet the demand. However, Nepal also exports electricity during the monsoon.
Last year, Nepal consumed 8,877 gigawatt-hours of electricity. This is an increase of 14.68 percent compared to the previous year. In the previous fiscal year, 7,741 gigawatt-hours of electricity was consumed.
Last year, the private sector supplied 3,241 gigawatt-hours of electricity apart from NEA projects.
NEA Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Production Directorate Harraj Neupane said that the import of electricity has increased due to two reasons. He said that imports have increased due to reduction in river water and increase in demand for electricity during the dry season.
"The demand for electricity increased last year, but it could not be generated accordingly. The Tamakoshi project was also delayed. As a result, electricity imports have increased," he informed.
He said that the reason for the high tariff of Indian electricity was not clear and the rate may have gone up due to inflation.