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SAARC countries to trade power

SAARC members are planning to trade electricity with one another, with plans underway to develop a robust cross-country power grid, says a report by energy expert GBI Research.

India and Sri Lanka are also planning to set up 200km submarine cables to deliver 1,000MW of electricity.

“Import and export of power between SAARC countries at competitive rates will act to support the region, offering aid in cases of power deficits in any member country” says the report. Some cross-border trade is already in place, with Bhutan exporting around 1,200-1,400MW of electricity to India’s power grid.

The major SAARC countries in terms of power demand include India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The power markets of almost all SAARC member countries are regulated by state powers and, some private players are present in the generation and transmission segment, the sector is currently largely closed to competition, says the report.

The cumulative installed capacity for power in the major SAARC countries is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6% to reach 505.7 gigawatts (GW) in 2020.

Thermal resource based installed capacity is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.8%, while renewable and hydro sources are expected to grow at respective CAGRs of 16.9% and 9.3% doing the next decade.

Nuclear power installed capacity is also expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.6% throughout 2012-2020.

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