Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" said on Tuesday that the government recognises the importance of the hydropower sector and its potential to become a strong base for the Himalayan nation's economic prosperity and export clean and green energy.
Prachanda was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the Power Summit 2023, which kicked off on Tuesday here with the slogan "Broaden green energy market.
Over 250 delegates from around two dozen countries, including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, are participating in the summit, organised by the Independent Power Producers' Association of Nepal (IPPAN).
The Prime Minister underlined Nepal's need to export surplus electricity to attain economic prosperity.
He identified four areas where hydropower can be utilised in the country:- agriculture, cooking, industry and transportation, and asserted that domestic use of hydropower not only helps to reduce pollution but also aids in minimising the Himalayan country's huge trade imbalance by bringing down the import of expensive petroleum products and Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
Nepal's hydropower potential is estimated to be above 50,000 MW but actual electricity generation from hydropower is currently 800 MW. Nepal can meet not just its own electricity needs, but also serve energy-hungry neighbours like Bangladesh and India, according to experts.
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Prachanda also assured support to the private sector if it joined hands with the government in expanding and promoting the hydropower sector.
Bhupendra Kumar Singh, Director and Head, Energy Security of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), said that India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the region, offers immense opportunities for the export of clean as well as cheap hydropower produced by Nepal.
Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet underlined the need for the government and the private sector to collaborate, focusing on the qualitative development and transformation of the energy sector.
The government is moving ahead with a long-term vision of exploring the international market for power and increased domestic consumption, Basnet said.
The 8th Energy Conclave, inaugurated by Prime Minister Prachanda on Tuesday, will run till Wednesday.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, power trading companies, banks and financial institutions are participating, along with power extension and distribution companies and consultants.
Discussions will be held in 15 different sessions on Nepal's power trade, transmission infrastructure, hydropower demand, technology, innovation, inter-country power trade and other related topics.
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