The bilateral energy talk between Nepal and Bangladesh scheduled for May is significant for both countries, offering an opportunity to explore new avenues for cross-border energy trade.
The upcoming secretary-level bilateral energy talk between Nepal and Bangladesh in the second week of May is a promising development for the energy sector for both the countries. The two-day meeting will take place in Bangladesh and is expected to pave the way for cross-border power trade between the two nations. The meeting, which was delayed upon the request of the host country, will see joint-secretary level discussions followed by talks at the secretary level. Bangladesh is keen to purchase electricity from Nepal, which has become a power surplus country in recent years. Nepal, in turn, is eager to expand its cross-border energy trade beyond India, with Bangladesh offering a new market for its excess power. As both the countries have been eagerly anticipating a breakthrough in cross-border energy trading during the upcoming rainy season, the bilateral energy talk is significant for both the countries, offering an opportunity to explore new avenues for cross-border energy trade.
Reports suggest that Bangladesh has already given the green signal to purchase 50 MW of electricity produced by Nepali power plants. Both the countries are hoping for a breakthrough in bilateral energy trading during the upcoming rainy season. For Nepal, the energy sector has been a priority area for development, with the country making significant progress in recent years. Nepal has been able to meet its domestic demand and even generate a surplus of 500 MW during peak hours, thanks to large hydropower projects like the 456 MW Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project. Nepal currently produces 2,000 MW of electricity per day and aims to generate 5,000 MW of electricity by 2026. The surplus production of electricity provides an opportunity for Nepal to tap into the growing energy market in the region. The installation of dedicated transmission lines via Indian land could facilitate energy exports to Bangladesh. In the recent Nepal-India Energy Secretary-level joint steering committee meeting, India agreed to submit a proposal for exporting 50 MW of electricity generated from Nepal's hydropower projects to Bangladesh, subject to certain conditions.
Energy cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh is important for several reasons. First, it can help to meet the growing energy demand of Bangladesh, which has been increasing rapidly in recent years. As per the reports, Bangladesh's demand for electricity is expected to reach 34,000 MW by 2030, up from the current level of around 23,000 MW. With its limited domestic energy resources, Bangladesh has been relying heavily on imported fossil fuels, which not only affects its energy security but also contributes to its carbon emissions. The energy cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh can also promote regional cooperation and integration. This is important in light of the fact that Bangladesh aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 22 percent by 2030, and the potential purchase of hydroelectric power from Nepal would be a step towards achieving that goal. Therefore, by promoting cross-border energy trade, Nepal and Bangladesh can contribute to regional economic integration and promote regional stability.
The energy cooperation between Nepal and Bangladesh can also help to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The two countries have traditionally enjoyed good relations, and energy cooperation can provide a new dimension to their existing partnership. By collaborating on energy issues, the two countries can deepen their engagement and promote mutual understanding and trust. The development of a regional energy market based on a win-win cooperation model could provide significant benefits, including greater energy security, reduced carbon emissions, and economic growth. As countries in the region work towards achieving their energy goals, collaboration on energy trade, infrastructure, and technology could provide mutual benefits. We believe that the upcoming bilateral energy talks between Nepal and Bangladesh are an important step towards expanding cross-border energy trade between the two countries. The development of a regional energy market could bring significant benefits, including greater energy security, reduced carbon emissions, and economic growth. It is essential that both Nepal and Bangladesh work closely with India and continue their efforts to realize greater regional cooperation in the energy sector, to achieve their energy goals and promote sustainable development.