India becomes net exporter of power for the first time
According to Central Electricity Authority (CEA), under Union Power Ministry, India for the first time has become a net exporter of electricity during the April-February period in fiscal 2016-17.
During this period, India exported around 5,798 million units of electricity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. It is 213 million units more than the import of around 5,585 million units from Bhutan.
- In the last three years, India’s export to Nepal and Bangladesh has increased 2.5 and 2.8 times respectively. New transmission lines with Bangladesh and Myanmar has helped India sell more power.
- India’s power export to Nepal: India is exporting around 190 MW power to Nepal over 12 cross border interconnections at 11kV, 33kV and 132 kV level.
- It has further increased by around 145 MW after commissioning of Muzaffarpur (India)–Dhalkhebar (Nepal) 400kV line (being operated at 132 kV) in 2016.
- It is further expected to increase by around 145 MW shortly over 132 kV Katiya (Bihar)– Kusaha (Nepal) and 132 kV Raxaul (Bihar)– Parwanipur (Nepal).
- India’s power export to Bangladesh: At present, India has exported around 600 MW power to Bangladesh.
- The export got further boost after commissioning of the first cross border interconnection between Baharampur (India) and Bheramara (Bangladesh) at 400kV in September 2013.
- It was further augmented by commissioning of second cross border Interconnection between Surjyamaninagar (Tripura) in India and South Comilla (Bangladesh).
- India’s power import from Bhutan: On an average, Bhutan has been supplying around 5,000-5,500 million units to India.
- A few more cross border links are in the pipeline with neighbouring countries which would further increase India’s power export.
Ever since the cross border trade of electricity started in mid-1980s, India has been importing power from Bhutan and marginally exporting to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. India is also investing heavily on generation infrastructure over the past few years. In the past two years, a massive surge in the local supply of raw materials like coal has also helped power companies to boost output.
About Central Electricity Authority (CEA)
- The CEA is a statutory organisation constituted under section 3(1) of Electricity Supply Act 1948. Now, it has been superseded by section 70(1) of the Electricity Act 2003.
- It advises the government on matters relating to the National Electricity Policy (NEP) and formulates short-term and perspective plans for the development of electricity systems. It is the designated authority for cross border trade of electricity.
- It also prescribes the standards on matters such as construction of electrical plants, electric lines and connectivity to the grid, safety and grid standards and installation and operation of meters.
- It is also responsible for concurrence of hydro power development schemes of central, state and private sectors for efficient development of river and its tributaries for power generation.