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Electricity export earns Nu 10B

The five operational hydropower plants in the country have generated about 6.31B units of energy as of October this year, with generation peaking in August.

This is according to the statistical bulletin of the Royal Monetary Authority.

Of the total production, the Tala Hydropower Plant, being the largest operating hydropower project, produced 3.8B units of energy, followed by Chukha at 1.5B units.  The other power plants of Kurichhu,   Basochhu and Dagacchu together generated about 936.5M units of electricity.

In monetary terms, the total export earnings, as of October this year was around Nu 10B while the earning from domestic sales was about Nu 3.7B, excluding the demand and wheeling charges.

The highest power generation was recorded in August with 1.25B units followed by 1.24B units in July.

In 2017, the plants’ total electricity generation was 7.25B units compared with 7.57B units in 2016. This was mainly due to poor hydrology in the Wangchhu.

Moreover, Tala continued to experience failures with some of the systems. For instance, in late December 2016, two generating units experienced some technical problem. One unit of the Tala was brought back into operation in May 2017.

The diversion of Tsibjalumchhu stream to the Tala dam in June 2014 is also supposed to enhance the generation from the Tala project by 93 MU, when the river inflow in the Wangchhu is less than what is required for full generation capacity.

Power generation is fully dependent on hydrology and ensuring that there are no major plant breakdowns helps.

Domestic supply of electricity has, however, increased from 2.32B units in 2017 compared to 2.08B units in 2016.

In 2017 alone, 7,979 more domestic consumers were added to the grid. This was mainly due to the rural electrification works and it has resulted in 8.8 percent increase in domestic consumption. With more rural electrification works, this is further expected to increase.

However, with aggressive rural electrification and people switching from conventional source of energy to electricity, the country saw its domestic consumption rise over the years. In addition, construction of new hydropower projects and more industries coming up also attributed to increased domestic consumption.

Reports from DGPC stated that the increased domestic consumption continues to adversely impact the revenue inflow because of the differences between domestic and export tariff.

Tshering Dorji  

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