Tehran is well suited to export electricity to India and is also looking forward to renewed investments in green energy technology. New Delhi is now examining the feasibility of this project.
After an unsuccessful attempt of construction a gas pipeline between Iran and India, the two countries are now considering proposals to transmit electricity.
Iranian Energy Minister Majid Namjou recently announced that an agreement had been reached with India over the issue. He said transferring electricity is much cheaper than exporting natural gas.
According to the plan under discussion, electricity generated from natural gas in Iran would be transmitted through Pakistan.
To achieve the goal, authorities in India and Pakistan are working out the technical modalities. The power grids between Lahore and Amritsar on their mutual border are considered the most feasible point to set up the first interconnection lines.
This proposed line could be used to transmit 500-megawatt electricity to India. In the later stages, the two neighbors would also construct the transmission infrastructure involving many more such connections along the border, which would be managed on a joint-ownership basis.
India’s power plants are facing new and severe shortage in supplies of coal and gas. Many of them are unable to generate even half of their installed capacity. Power prices too have been increased in Delhi and domestic consumers in the capital will have to pay 34% more while commercial users will pay 19.5% from next billing cycles, however availability still remains a critical issue.
On the other hand, Iran has vast energy resources and can easily expand its annual electricity production of more than 53,000 megawatts. Furthermore, Iran is looking for cooperation to develop clean and renewable energy resources with technical help from India.
Though these proposals on the export of electricity are at a preliminary stage, a lot of feasibility studies will need to be undertaken; analysts say these developments also highlight New Delhi’s willingness to disregard appeals from Washington over reducing cooperation with Tehran.