September 22: The Government of Nepal has prepared an ambitious and comprehensive action-plan including investing USD 46 billion for the overall development of the country's energy sector by 2035.
The government set the target of massive investment considering the energy sector as the major basis for the country's economic development. The comprehensive action-plan that starts from 2023 and ends in 2035 envisage harnessing country's untapped energy potential.
According to the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, the action-plan was prepared with the goal of addressing the changing situations in energy landscape of the country.
The 'Energy Development Roadmap and Action Plan 2080 BS' action-plan prepared by the taskforce coordinated by the ministry's Joint-Secretary Sandeep Kumar Dev encompasses details about investment estimates for projects, transmission lines and sub-stations.
The task-force formed after the ministerial decision on July 11 this year included Sanjay Dhungel, Deputy Director-General of Department of Energy Development; Pradeep Kumar Thike, Deputy Executive Director of the Nepal Electricity Authority; Prabal Adhikari, NEA Director; and Ministry of Energy's Baburaj Adhikari among others.
The taskforce recently submitted a report containing the ambitious action-plan to the Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet. More detailed discussion would be held among the stakeholders on the report before endorsing it from the Council of Ministers.
The comprehensive action-plan was launched at a time when Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in his last India visit had inked an agreement to export 10,000 megawatts of energy to India within 10 years and when Bangladesh showed its willingness to import 9,000 megawatt electricity from Nepal by 2040.
A target has been set to increase the installed electricity production capacity of the country to 28,000 megawatt by 2035. At present, the country's total installed electricity capacity has reached 2,860 megawatts.
Energy Minister Basnet shared the government has determined a modality of investment by projecting the demand of electricity to be equal to 28,500 megawatts keeping in mind the exports of power to the neighbouring countries.
A target has been set to export 15,000 megawatt electricity to other countries which requires investment of USD 46 billion.
According to the Ministry, financial resources equal to USD eight billion have been guaranteed so far. Government, private sector and the general public would also have share in the investment towards energy sector.
Similarly, capitals of non-resident Nepalis and Nepali migrant workers would also be incorporated with equal importance. The report of the taskforce has mentioned that USD 2.6 billion has already been invested in country's energy sector so far. However, the report mentioned that additional financial resources worth USD 39 billion are still needed.
Nepal Electricity Authority's earnings of USD eight billion would be mobilized in development of energy sector till 2035.
According to Minister Basnet, USD two billion would be received through the climate investment for construction of the projects and transmission lines.
Likewise, the government has set the target of investing additional USD 500 million through the budgetary system for the development of the energy sector. It is also stated that more that USD 12 billion would be mobilized from those who have gone for foreign employment, the Nepal Infrastructure Bank and through the issuance of bonds.
Similarly, a goal has been set to increase the per capita electricity consumption to 1500 units to boost domestic consumption of electricity. This would help reduce the country's trade deficit.
As per the same report, at least 50 persons will be employed at the management level for the production of 1,000 megawatts electricity. Similarly, towards engineering nearly 600 persons will be employed while around 2,000 individuals get employment towards workforce as supervisors, foremen and the like at the site.
Likewise, nearly 6,000 skilled workers and 25,000 general workers will get employment opportunity for generating 28,000 megawatts of energy. -- RSS