Saturday, December 27, 2008

A wonderful Xmas gift: 13 hours of load-shedding in Nepal!!

12-14 hours of load-shedding. That’s a Xmas gift from the government to the Nepali people!

Faced with acute shortage of power in the country, the government declared “power crisis” in the country. This means use of electricity on hoarding boards is banned. Too bad for the advertisement industry! The government has encouraged use of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). It has also given subsidies on import of such lamps, initiated generation of 200 MW electricity from thermal plants, and is trying to import electricity from India. There is a shortage of 3.8 million units of electricity in the country. Moreover, the government has waived red tapes for investors willing to immediately invest in power plants below 50 MW.

Why so late? Why did not the leaders heed to this impending crisis earlier? Corruption? Lack of visionary leaders? More here. Compare the state of energy production in Bhutan and Nepal and you’ll realize how messed up is the political system in Nepal to forge a consensus in a unified energy plan for the country. Note that, Nepal has a comparative advantage in the production of hydro electricity. Why not exploit it rather than scrambling to resuscitate the beleaguered export-oriented firms?

Assessments needed:

[1] the fallout of power crisis on the advertisement industry

[2] the effect of [1] on advertisement revenue for newspapers and online news portals

[3] the effect on price of diesel due to increase in demand for use in thermal plants

[4] the effect of this crisis on the industrial output

[5] the effect of this crisis on FDI

[6] the effect of this crisis on private sector demand for new hydropower plants

[7] the effect of this crisis on the price of alternatives like candle, lamp, biogas generation