India has taken the lead in integrating the electricity grids of countries in South Asia, as in the case of European and South African nations. The government is finalising a draft cross-border electricity trade policy to enable Indian producers seamlessly exchange power with neighbouring nations.
Once finalised, it will be sent to the Union Cabinet for approval. The move follows a meeting of Saarc energy ministers in September 2014 that decided to set up a cross-border transmission interconnection for the member countries. As per the draft policy, Indian developers of overseas projects will require a one-time single-window clearance for trade of electricity between Saarc nations, sources said. “The policy will immediately enable domestic firms in setting up power plants in Nepal and Bhutan to sell electricity in India. Likewise, it will enable export of excess power from India,” a senior government official said. Power plants of Tata Power, GMR Energy and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam totaling 5,000 mw are under construction in neighbouring countries.