Officials from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said they would be making an assessment of renewable energy potential of countries in the region.
NEW DELHI: India is drawing up plans to link its electricity grid with Gulf countries to the west and South East Asian nations on the other side in order to export excess electricity, especially from a raft of renewable energy projects coming up in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
The government, as part of the ‘One Sun, One World, One grid’ initiative, wants the Indian Grid to be connected with the Middle East, South Asia, and South East Asian grids to share solar and other renewable energy resources.
“Some 40-50 GW solar power projects are in the pipeline in Rajasthan and Gujarat. these can be sold in large markets like Delhi or Maharashtra, or exported to Gulf countries which have different peak hours once a grid connecting them is established,” said Amit Jain, Senior Energy Specialist with the World Bank, which is partnering India in this initiative.
Officials from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy said they would be making an assessment of renewable energy potential of countries in the region and study how they can share power to meet even peak electricity demand.
“Since the sun does not always shine, and the wind does not always blow, nor does factory demand for electricity remain the same, we have to look for ways of either storing electricity or exporting it when not required. At the same time, we will need power when solar energy production is low (and can) import it from other time zones as we move towards renewables,” an official said.
Officials indicated that the thinking is that Gulf countries now want to move away from fossil fuel by focusing on renewable power. Solar and wind energy plants were being set up in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai among others.
“It is our intention to work on a pre-feasibility study with India and the ISA ( International Solar Alliance) on the India-Middle East-Africa grid which would involve an undersea cable,” said Jain. India is already linked with Bangladesh and Nepal through similar grids. Officials believe that linking up with the Southern East Asian grid would not be too difficult.
The SE Asian nations on the other hand, along with Australia, also have plans to build a 3,700 kilometer ASEAN-Australia power undersea cable link to transmit electricity generated by a 10,000 MW solar farm proposed to be set up in Australia.