How Assam is poised to secure its Economic Growth through Energy Security!

As India celebrates 75 years of Independence through Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the country is going through the phase known as “Amrit Kaal” during which work shall be done to improve the quality of lives of the people by the time we complete a century of political independence in 2047.

Unlike the other sectors, the task cut out for energy is resolute as it is going to power the growth that the new India aims to achieve during this time. It is estimated that the demand for electricity is likely to grow at a CAGR of 5.4%-5.7% by 2047.

To meet this, India aims at an efficient mix of electricity generation via conventional methods but done in an efficient manner like increasing penetration of renewable energy in the grid as well as through building or emboldening the capacity via reducing the Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses; introducing smart grids or enhancing the reliability of the grids.

The Northeast region, with its hilly terrain & rich river system, is set to become a major hub of power generation & transmission for India. Even our hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has said that the region has the potential to become new India’s energy hub and that the government is working hard to realise this vision.

Assam – at the heart of the Northeast – is in a sweet spot in this regard. Endowed with a complex inter river system and borders with all the other states of the region, save Sikkim, it has the potential to act asa conduit for all the electricity generated by the states and become the centre of the energy business in the region.

The peak demand of Assam stands at around 2000 MW as per Central Electricity Authority (CEA) . However, the state generates only 377 MW with only 300 MW for consumption.

It is encouraging to witness that steps have been initiated to boost electricity production in Assam. The Lower Kopili Hydro Electric Project in Dima Hasao and Karbi Anglong districts of Assam is set for completion by 2024. and is slated to produce 120 MW.

In the space of renewable energy , a total of 445.26 MW has been generated & connected to the grid. Assam has also been building capacity in electricity generation with its ongoing projects in solar power like Namrup Replacement Power Project (100 MW), Amguri Solar Power Plant (70 MW), and Namrup Solar Power Project (20 MW) along with the Lower Kopili Hydro Electric Project (120 MW). This amounts to 310 MW of power generation in the state. Work is going on in Borpani Middle II (24 MW), Borpani (22.5 MW) and Bilasipara Solar Power Project (100 MW) which will lead to generation of about 146 MW.

To ensure that this massive amount of renewable and clean energy is integrated to the grid, it is pivotal for Assam to strengthen its inter-state transmission network. Case in point is the NER-II project that has been recently commissioned in 2021 and one thadelivers more than 3,000MW of reliable powe to 53 million people in the region.

Not only this, the the Nangalbibra Bongaigaon Transmission Line (NBTL) is another critical project that will reinforce the the downstream network in the state & improving the quality and reliability of power flow in the region.

The NBTL project will facilitate additional power flow enabling access to a reliable source of power. These projects are likely to become a critical springboard for the power sector led economic growth in the region.

As identified by India’s Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman ji, effective power generation and its distribution “are integral to the economy.”

The geostrategic location of Assam offers a host of opportunities to unbox opportunities by increasing regional & cross border trade, building, developing & sustaining economic corridor between South Asia and South East Asia regions. Here lies an opportunity for Assam to seize to become a $ 75 billion economy by 2025 .

However, like everywhere else, to produce and sustain an economic boom as envisaged, it is fundamental that the infrastructure support is adequate. Consistent, affordable, reliable and secure electricity supply is essential to fuel the next round of growth in Assam.

While steps are being taken by the government, it is important that we brace ourselves to invest our heart and mind towards this objective. It is important that the people of Assam, as the most important stakeholder in this matter, must become advocates of all the modernisation projects in electricity sector in Assam.

As soon as Assam come out of the huge power deficit through the above steps and more, it is but expected to become a channel of growth & development in the region.

The post How Assam is poised to secure its Economic Growth through Energy Security! appeared first on OUR INDIA.


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