Boosting Cross-border Energy Trade in South Asia

Video | 4 October 2013

Len George, Energy Specialist with ADB's South Asia Department, describes the importance of boosting cross-border energy trade in South Asia as a new India-Bangladesh transmission line opens.

Transcript

Title: Boosting Cross-border Energy Trade in South Asia

Description: Len George, Energy Specialist with ADB's South Asia Department, describes the importance of boosting cross-border energy trade in South Asia as a new India-Bangladesh transmission line opens.

Len George
Energy Specialist, South Asia
Asian Development Bank

Q: How will the new India-Bangladesh transmission line benefit India and Bangladesh?
A: This project is the first large grid to grid connection in South Asia. For Bangladesh, what it does is it helps access power from India at a cheaper price and improves availability. So, this helps reduce energy shortages in Bangladesh and brings down cost of power. For India, what this does is it provides another market for Indian suppliers to sell their power and recover costs. It is also going to improve grid stability in the region. Eventually we see this interconnection benefitting not just India and Bangladesh but all the countries in the region.

Q: Why is the cross-border energy trading so important in South Asia?
A: South Asia is characterized by a diverse mix of energy resources. We have fossil fuels in the central part of India, we have hydropower in the northeast of India, as well as Nepal and Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have a lot of gas reserves, we also see a lot of solar and wind potential in the central and southern parts of the region.

Putting in place a transmission network allows investments in these resources to effectively serve this market. It allows an effective utilization of existing resources. It improves grid stability and for certain countries, it also helps them earn export revenues on the sale of such power.

Q: Do you anticipate an increase in cross-border energy trading in South Asia?
A: The answer is yes, the interconnection between Bangladesh and India is an important building block towards a regional energy grid in South Asia. What this does is, it allows energy to be traded just as any other good in the region.

After the India-Bangladesh link we expect several more links between India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and possibly Southeast Asia over the medium term. ADB’s programs including the SASEC will facilitate dialogue, promote awareness and also support investments to put in place such infrastructure.