Focus: GS-II International Relations, GS-III Industry and Infrastructure, Indian Economy
Why in news?
- The Union government plans to set up a regional grid that will be leveraged to create a common electricity market for nations in India’s neighbourhood, said power and new and renewable energy minister.
- The proposed market, which will include Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh, could aid regional peace and improve utilization of generation assets—including the stranded assets in India —and efficient price discovery.
- While India has been procuring hydropower from Bhutan, it is also supplying electricity to Bangladesh and Nepal.
- The plans now include the option of an overhead electricity link with Sri Lanka.
- India’s energy diplomacy initiatives range from cross-border electricity trade to supplying petroleum products and setting up liquefied natural gas terminals.
- Cross-border energy trade is a key part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s South Asia-focused neighbourhood-first policy, with the electricity link attempting to negate the growing influence of strategic rival China in the region.