Monday, November 7, 2011

Sources of electricity in Asia

Mountainous countries generally depend on hydropower to generate electricity. Fast growing economies depend more on fossil fuels to generate most of their electricity. Nepal derives all of its electricity from hydropower. The figure in the left is adapted from this ADB 2010 report (p.38). Burenei Darussalam depends entirely on carbon fuels. Check out the Asian countries’ dependence on carbon fuels, hydropower, and other fuels for their power needs.

The curious case of Nepali electricity supply is noteworthy here. Despite having one of the highest hydropower potentials, Nepal is facing acute shortage of electricity. Load-shedding is a normal phenomena year round (blackouts could be as long as 18 hours a day during dry season). There is huge demand for electricity in the market—meaning high returns to investment, albeit with high gestation period—but still supply cannot remotely match up the demand.