KATHMANDU, Dec 26: Import of electricity from India has reached 44 percent of the total electricity consumption with a drop in production and a soaring demand for energy amid notable fall in temperature level.
The records with Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) shows that Nepal imported 10.94 million units of electricity from its southern neighbor compared to the total energy consumption of 25.11 million units as of Friday. Of the total distribution, NEA supplied 7.13 million units whereas the private hydropower projects maintained supply of 7.04 million units of electricity.
With mercury level plummeting to 1.3 degree Celsius, Kathmandu recorded its lowest temperature of the season on Saturday. Along with the fall in the temperature, the use of heating electrical appliances has also been on the rise.
In addition, the government authority on the pretext of an increasing electricity production has also been promoting people to use electricity more than other energy sources. Due to the reason too, the demand for electricity has increased massively, according to the NEA officials.
As per the state-owned power utility, the peak demand has reached 1,430 megawatt, an increase of around 23 percent compared to that of the winter time demand of the last year.
The gap in production and demand for energy builds in pressure on the NEA to maintain a smooth supply of electricity during the winter season almost every year. The water level in the river recedes in winter, especially during January, February and March leading to lower generation of power by the hydropower projects.
Last month, NEA had received approval from Indian authorities to import an additional 250 megawatt of electricity to ensure a smooth supply of electricity during winter. The rise in imports is likely to raise the bills for electricity import this year.
In fiscal year 2019/20, NEA had met the domestic demand by importing 1.72 billion units from neighboring India out of a total annual demand of 7.74 billion units. The value of electricity imported from India stood more than Rs 13.58 billion.