India’s Possible Electricity Export to Pakistan

by Manshu on May 22, 2013

in Economy

I was surprised to read that Pakistan is contemplating importing 1,000 MW of electricity from India as I wasn’t aware that this has been discussed once earlier in 2012 as well.

Pakistan faces shortage of electricity regularly, and needs some short term measures to bridge the gap between demand and supply, but the surprising part to me was that India is not a surplus electricity generator itself, so how can India export electricity to Pakistan or for that matter, any other country?

I started by seeing if India exports electricity to any other country, and it appears that India does export electricity to Nepal with plans to start electricity exports to Bangladesh as well.

I think these are the only two countries that India exports any electricity as I couldn’t find any information on exports to other countries.

Among its neighbors, India imports electricity from Bhutan and that’s because Bhutan has surplus electricity generation.

According to MOSPI data – India consumed 6,12,645 GWh of electricity in 2010 – 11 so the 1,000 MW electricity export is a rather tiny amount, and I think this is more of a diplomatic step aimed at improving relationships rather than a measure that will have any meaningful impact on India’s overall trade or electricity production and consumption.  In that sense this is probably similar to the 1000 metric tons of onion imports from Pakistan back in the early part of 2011, except that Pakistan didn’t have an onion shortage of its own.

Update: As xyz has pointed out in comments below, we can’t estimate how much electricity we will end up exporting based on the information currently available and therefore my conclusion is inaccurate. I have canceled out that part of the post, and I apologize for my oversight. 

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