Thursday, 25 February, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Power For Prosperity



Electricity being the chief driver of development in the modern world, the nation needs to place prominent priority to harness this energy. A nation that has faltering electricity supply also falters in development. Thus, the dream of attaining economic prosperity remains unfulfilled until there is an uninterrupted power supply. With this fact in mind, Nepal is heading to generate adequate amount of electricity by constructing major hydropower projects like Arun III, Lower Arun, Upper Tamakoshi and Budhigandaki. An ironical fact about electricity is that it cannot be stored for the future use. Power generated should be used instantly, so a continuous chain of generation is needed to ensure constant supply. This means that we need power consumers to make sure that generated energy is consumed, and not wasted.

To talk of hydropower, power generation cannot remain stable round the year due to fluctuation in water flow. So, we have peak generation season, medium generation season and lean generation season. In the peak generation, we may be producing excess amount of electricity more than we can consume while during the lean generation time we may face power deficits. An arrangement of power trade between countries can be beneficial because excess power can be exported to the country that has a higher demand. Money earned thus can be saved and utilised to purchase power to meet the needs of the deficit supply time. Such an arrangement can create a win-win situation for both the concerned parties.
But for such a deal to be materialised, there should be a good power transmission infrastructure in place. Nepal and India are the immediate neighbours with potential of power trade for mutual benefits. Power trade already in place between Bhutan and India can offer an impressive example. In this regard, power transmission infrastructure within the country and between Nepal and India has made a milestone with the inauguration of a transmission sub-station at Dhalkebar of Dhanusha district on Monday. Declaring the inauguration of the largest electricity transmission substation of the country, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has said that it has not only bolstered the power supply system but also widened possibilities of power trade with India. Reliable power transmission infrastructure ensures uninterrupted power supply which is vital for smooth operation of development projects.

The Prime Minister has raised high hopes in the people when he said that the country is headed to be power self-reliant in near future and there is potential of exporting excess electricity to India. The perishable nature of electricity will matter little when we have the necessary transmission infrastructure and trade deal in place. This can be a great sign for narrowing the country’s trade deficit because power self-reliance will save billions every year through substitution of petroleum fuel import. It will also decrease, if not stop, the seasonal electricity import from the southern neighbour. Hydroelectricity is a clean energy that helps to ease the current dependence on forest-based fuel consumption. This will help to check deforestation and bring positive environmental results. Doors will open also for smooth industrial operation and mechanisation of commercial agriculture. With power sufficiency at our disposal, every sector of the national economy will emerge robust and powerful. 

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