The Nepalese private sector has seen the possibility of consuming another 5,000 MW of electricity in the next three years if the transmission and distribution system is managed reliably.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has been complaining about electricity wastage for a while and is also taking necessary initiatives for this. Consumption has not increased as expected. However, the private sector seems optimistic. It is taking initiative for the development and improvement of the distribution and transmission systems. According to an unofficial study by the Independent Power Producers Association of Nepal (IPPAN), an additional 2,000 megawatts of electricity could be consumed for cooking purposes in urban areas, 1,000 megawatts in the transport sector, and 2,000 megawatts in the industrial sector if the distribution system is improved by speeding up.
If NEA brings effective marketing and subsidy programs, the use of electric stoves will increase widely. Ashish Garg, the vice-chairman of IPAN, stated that 3,000 MW of electricity could be consumed within three years if the capacity of transformers and other technical capabilities were expanded by giving priority only to urban and urbanizing areas.
The price of LP gas for cooking is constantly rising. General changes in the international market also affect Nepal. At present, the price of a cylinder of gas is Rs. 1,575. According to Vice President Garg, it has become imperative to use induction cookers as the prices go up every year. For that, the government should intervene in a proper policy-based manner and bring promotional programs including grants, said Vice President Garg.
Arguing that if the subsidy is provided for induction stoves, qualitative change will be seen in just one year, he said, "For that, joint efforts of government and private sector are necessary." According to the Nepal Oil Corporation, about Rs 40 billion worth of LP gas is imported annually. Imports are likely to increase further this year.
Similarly, the construction of adequate charging stations, banning the import of petrol and diesel vehicles even from the government level will increase the use of electric vehicles. From that, an additional one thousand megawatts of electricity will be consumed in the next three years. It is said that the way should be paved for the private sector to build charging stations.
The private sector can charge vehicles at the charging station for a slightly higher price. If there is no obstruction, a charging station can be built like opening a petrol pump. Out of the total 1 million vehicles operating in Nepal, only 10,000 are electric vehicles. IPAN understands that if the public sector adopts a policy of importing only electric vehicles, it will have an impact on the market and the private sector will be forced to promote electric vehicles. The last time NEA added 30 MW of electricity to the Hongxi Cement Industry, it has had a positive impact on other industries as well.
The industry has demanded an additional 50 MW of electricity. Similarly, industrialists and businessmen have immediately demanded 1,000 megawatts of electricity. According to the customs department, four lakh tonnes of coal is being imported annually. To stop the coal import for use in the cement industry alone, an additional 1,000 megawatts of electricity is needed. On this basis, the demand for five to seven thousand megawatts of electricity in the system will increase, said Vice President Garg.
Vice President Garg presented this statement on the occasion of IPA's annual general meeting. Commenting on the details, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Pampha Bhusal said, “The government is committed to increase the consumption of electricity in every sector. As the chairperson of the board of directors, I am ready to carry out all the work on behalf of NEA in a planned manner. ” He also urged the private sector to support the government's efforts. He said that electricity also is a raw material and should be properly consumed within the country.