Energy cooperation among the South Asian countries has several gaps. In this context, discuss the steps taken by India to promote regional energy cooperation.
The South Asian economies face the greatest threat to energy security in the light of increasing population and decreasing fossil fuels.
Current gaps in energy cooperation:
- Pakistani denial of passage to Afghanistan hinders TAPI, IIP pipelines.
- Financial challenges due to high capital expenditure and India’s reservation to funding by China.
- Issues with Nepal on Kalapani & Madhesi and Bangladesh on Teesta waters exploitation.
- Reconciling national interests with geopolitical realities.
Steps taken by India:
- ‘One world One sun’ and the international solar alliance to promote south-south cooperation.
- Salma and Shahtoot Dam & hydroelectricity projects in Afghanistan.
- Pancheshwar Dam hydel power plant in Nepal.
- Energy cooperation and grid enhancement within Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal and India (BBIN).
Thus, India needs to put more impetus in energy cooperation for a vibrant South Asia.