Widen scope of electricity law to cover cross-border trade: ADB

South Asia’s redeeming feature is that the present electricity sector structure and its institutional framework are in line for putting cross-border electricity trade on sound legal, regulatory footing

GN Bureau | November 7, 2017


#Asian Development Bank   #South Asia   #Electricity   #Rural Electrification  


The Asian Development Bank has suggested widening the scope of the electricity law so that India can better carry out cross-border trade.

In its report – Harmonizing electricity laws in South Asia, ADB said that the region’s redeeming feature is that the present electricity sector structure and its institutional framework are in line with the requirements for putting cross-border electricity trade on sound legal and regulatory footing. Moreover, widening the scope of the existing laws and regulations to cover the regional power trade with suitable modifications, or enhancing the powers of existing institutions will be relatively easy.

“The electricity laws and regulations of India and Pakistan are quite exhaustive to govern sector operations within these countries. However, the scope of the laws has to be widened to cover cross-border trade as well,” it added.

On India, the report said that state governments have powers to formulate and implement policies for the state in conformity with the national laws and plan projects at the state level. Prior to reforms, the electricity sector at state level was operated as a single, vertically integrated utility in each state, but some small states operated the sector as part of their power department. Reforms in the state power sector led to the unbundling of the former State Electricity Boards (SEBs) owned by state governments on operational lines, i.e., generation, transmission, and distribution. To avoid having multiple organizations within each state and as a result of the implementation of reforms, a general modality was adopted. This included creating a minimum number of generating companies, one state-owned transmission company, and some distribution companies.

It went on to say that in South Asia, “only Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan use natural gas in their energy basket. Having been a natural gas exporter, the gas infrastructure in Afghanistan was totally destroyed during the war. India and Pakistan, unable to meet their gas demand from indigenous sources, import natural gas. As such, there is little opportunity for sharing and/or trading indigenous gas, unless new reserves far in excess of domestic demand are found and developed”.

“India is the only country in the region with substantial installed electricity generation capacity based on coal. Despite having the fifth largest coal reserves in the world, India imports coal for power generation and other applications,” it noted.

South Asia has a hydropower potential of 294,000 megawatts (MW), out of which only a small fraction has been exploited. “This potential is nearly equal to the total installed electricity generation capacity of India and is many times the combined installed capacity of all the other countries in the region put together, from all sources. If exploited fully, it will create immense opportunities for regional energy trade in South Asia and provide energy security to the region.”

The report said that the Electricity Act, 2003 is the overarching legislation governing India’s electricity sector. The act, and regulations and policies made under it, have all the necessary provisions for the creation of a healthy electricity market.

“Although India is exchanging and/or trading electricity with three countries in the region, the act is silent about cross-border electricity trade. A redeeming feature of the act is that India’s electricity market has been smoothly functioning under its provisions.

“If the SAARC member states (SMSs) so choose, the requisite provisions can be adopted with suitable modification, wherever necessary, for the creation of the regional electricity market. India may need to extend the provisions of the act to cover its cross-border electricity trade as well. However, small modifications may be required to fully harmonize the provisions of the act with those of other countries in the region for the implementation of the framework agreement.”

Read: Rural Electrification: Let there be light
 

Comments

 

Other News

Four trends that will shape healthcare post-Covid

The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and healthcare systems across the world. Even in the countries like the US that have the highest spend on healthcare and public health emergency preparedness, the impact of coronavirus pandemic on health and livelihoods of people has been tremendous. There are

India to play leading role in global revival: Modi

India would play a leading role in the global revival, prime minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday, as he addressed the inaugural session of India Global week via video-conference. He said that this is closely linked with two factors. “First is - Indian talent and second is India`s

BMC spells out numbers to counter Fadnavis’ claims

The BrihanMumbai municipal corporation (BMC) has countered Maharashtra leader of opposition Devendra Fadanvis’s suspicions of fewer Covid-19 tests, as it outlined various measures it has adopted since the first test conducted on February 3, and how it has gradually brought down the number of cases in

Mumbai opts for “most liberal Covid-19 testing” in the world

As part of the four T strategy of trace-test-track-treat, Mumbai – the most affected city in India – has decided to make Covid-19 tests accessible to all. The municipal corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has come out with guidelines allowing all laboratories to conduct RT-PCR (

Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger

In a major development on July 6, the Chinese army started moving back its tents, vehicles as well as troops from locations where disengagement was agreed upon in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. This is a significant milestone in regional geopolitics with India having been successful in isolating the

Hiranandani Group launches ambitious data centre project

With the Covid-19 pandemic pushing more online activity and the capacity usage of data centres going up, India’s largest data centre (DC) building and the biggest tier-IV data centre, Yotta NM1,the  second largest in the world, has been launched in Mumbai. The launch event on Tue



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter