Thursday, January 15, 2015

Very large electricity losses in Nepal (34% of total output)

Electricity losses in Nepal (transmission and distribution) are really large in Nepal (over 34% of total output in 2011). The chart below is extracted from the latest World Bank update on economic prospects.

Nepal faces a double whammy (low generation leading to large and growing gap between demand and supply, and large transmission and distribution losses further exacerbating the shortages) due to (i) low investment as well as low capacity to fully execute/utilize available budget productively, and (ii) shoddy construction and substandard appliances increasing inefficiency of the system, and low operations & maintenance budget and capacity. Fortunately, a large number of hydropower projects are ongoing and are expected to generate enough electricity to bring load-shedding to almost zero during wet season. The economy will likely continue to face electricity rationing during dry season in the absence of storage-type hydropower projects.

More on hydropower condition in Nepal here and on the potential demand for electricity in India here.

Below is a chart showing the top ten countries with the largest electricity losses. Nepal comes at number 4 in the world. Electricity losses are increasing (signals massive inefficiency)— 28% in 2005 and 34% in 2011.