SAARC nations agree on energy cooperation
This agreement is a crucial step towards developing a SAARC Market for Electricity (SAME) on a regional basis.
The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was established in 1985, with its Secretariat in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The two days meeting concluded with the ministers’ assurance to get the SAARC Framework Agreement for Energy Cooperation (Electricity) approved from their respective Governments so that it could be signed during the forthcoming SAARC Summit scheduled to be held in November, 2014 in Kathmandu, Nepal.
India proposed to host the Seminar on "Sharing Experiences on Energy Pricing Mechanism in the SAARC Region". India also proposed to host the Second Meeting of the Expert Group on Technology/Knowledge Sharing (including Energy Efficiency, coal, etc.) in 2015. Bangladesh will convene the Meeting of Energy Regulators /Bodies in SAARC countries by December 2014.
Earlier addressing the inaugural session of the 5th meeting of the SAARC Energy Ministers in New Delhi on Friday, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy Piyush Goyal called for building SAARC power grid so that excess production of power in one region can easily be used to meet deficit elsewhere.
Goyal said "Rivers can flow only in one direction, but power can flow in the direction of our choice! I dream of a seamless SAARC power grid within the next few years. For example: Hydroelectric power generated in North East India could be transported via Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, on to Afghanistan or offshore wind projects could be set up in Sri Lanka’s coastal borders to power Pakistan or Nepal. The possibilities are limitless!"
"Goyal said this will not only strengthen the economic ties among the SAARC nations but also deepens the people to people relationship.
The Power Minister further stated that the economic sustainability of SAARC region is pillared on energy security as 30% of the region’s energy demands are met through imports. In order to resolve this, Goyal advocated a three pronged strategy by harnessing conventional and renewable sources of energy and building inter-connected transmissions grids and forging efficacious power trading agreements. ■