Nepal | November 11, 2018
HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
Kathmandu, November 10
The demand for electricity during Tihar this year decreased to 1,105 megawatts as compared to last year. As per data of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), 1,165 megawatts of electricity had been consumed during ‘Laxmi Puja’ last year. This demand does not include the energy the industries utilise.
According to NEA, the major reasons for the drop in electricity demand were the assurance made by the power utility of interrupted power supply, upgradation of the distribution system and other measures taken to control leakage.
“Credit also goes to the consumers as they have become more aware in better utilising electricity and have adopted various measures like using energy-efficient LED bulbs,” said Kul Man Ghising, managing director of NEA. He added that demand was also low as people have started using power-efficient household appliances.
At present, NEA has nearly 3.5 million household customers.
Meanwhile, NEA had forecast that during the Tihar festival this year the country would require 1,280 megawatts of electricity. “We were in a comfortable position to meet the demand that we had forecast for this year. In 2017, during Tihar we had forecast demand for electricity to stand at 1,350 megawatts,” informed Ghising.
Furthermore, NEA has said that in recent times it has started focusing on upgrading the transmission lines and distribution system. The power utility has also been concentrating on timely maintenance of substations across the country. As per NEA, due to these aforementioned reasons there has been efficient supply of energy and thus electricity which used to be lost because of various forms of leakage has been saved.
As per Ghising, NEA was fully prepared to manage demand for 1,500 megawatts of electricity this Tiharincluding industrial consumption. “The electricity generated by NEA-owned projects, private power producers and the imported power from India was enough to meet the demand.”
Meanwhile, NEA has said that the level of water in rivers across the nation has dropped and electricity generated by run-of-the-river type hydropower projects has decreased. Hence, the country will have to depend on energy imported from India to meet national demand in the winter season.
According to Ghising, this year it has not been necessary for NEA to operate the Kulekhani reservoir project due to sufficient electricity. Currently, the water level at Kulekhani has reached 1,226 metres. “We have the option to utilise Kulekhani reservoir hydropower project, which acts like a battery back-up for Kathmandu Valley, but till date we have not had to use it.”
At present, the hydropower projects owned by NEA can generate up to 480 megawatts and projects operated by independent power producers can generate up to 370 megawatts of electricity during peak hours. Likewise, import from India has also reached 450 megawatts through the cross-border transmission lines.
A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.