Energy is considered as the key element in establishing industries, promoting business and creating new markets and employment opportunities. It had enabled the world to bring about the first Industrial Revolution that changed the fate of humanity. Of various forms of energy, electricity has been the crucial to boost the development and facilitate the diverse activities of people. Nepal government has attached top priority to generating and distributing electricity to reduce poverty and realise desired level of prosperity.
As a result, Nepal has, of late, made progress in the electricity generation, reduction of system losses and enhanced cross-border transmission capacity. This has led to drastic reduction in the power leakage and outage. Now over 88 per cent population has access to electricity. Efforts are underway to push institutional reforms in enhancing the production of electricity and its smooth supply to industrial corridors so that it plays a vital role in attaining economic growth.
Nepal still faces the shortage of reliable power supply. A World Bank report says that inadequate access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable electricity is a fundamental reason for Nepal's poor economic competitiveness. In order to overcome the electricity deficit, Nepal government has set short, medium and long-term goals in generating electricity. It aims to generate 5,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity in five years and 15,000 MW in 10 years. It has taken various steps to cut load-shedding, maintain supply-demand balance and effective regulatory framework. For this, the focus has been placed on investments in new generation of electricity, large peaking and storage hydropower projects, expansion of transmission and distribution, energy access and export, and cross‐border transmission lines, among others.
Nonetheless, challenges in energy sector continue to persist, forcing the authorities to devise the strategy to save energy and ensure its fair distribution among the commoners as well as the industrial users. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), the state power supplier, has to adopt strict measures for the purpose. According to a news report carried by this daily, the NEA decided to provide electricity to the industrial customers immediately on the condition of not operating the industry in the peak hours - evening and morning - when there is high demand for electricity. Under the short-term plan, the industries will get the sufficient power but they are unable to have power when the transmission and distribution lines are overloaded during peak hours.
The enterprises have been asked to submit applications to the NEA if they need additional amount of electricity and get the power supply from 132 kV transmission line by specifying required quantity. The NEA disclosed its policy during the meeting between its Managing Director Kul Man Ghising and the industrialists of Sunsari-Morang Industrial Corridor recently. Industries are currently getting power from 11 and 33 kV but electricity tariff from 132 kV is cheaper than 11 and 33 kV, NEA said. The NEA is facing problems in distributing the required amount of power as well as the wasting of electricity in the form of tripping and low voltage. It has become imperative to improve the network of power transmission for reliable, qualitative and regular supply of power in the industrial area to promote economic development in the country.