India, Maldives to Explore Transmission Interconnection For Renewable Power Transfer

Highlights :

  • RK Singh appreciated the resolve of Maldives government to achieve net zero emission target by 2030.
  • India and Maldives signed two MoUs – on energy cooperation and on transmission interconnection under One Sun, One World, One Grid.

The Ministry of Power has informed that India and Maldives plan to set up a transmission interconnection for transfer of renewable power between the two countries.

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The proposal was discussed during the meeting between Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh and Maldives’ Environment, Climate Change and Technology Minister Aminath Shauna in New Delhi on Tuesday. The official twitter handle of the Office of RK Singh informed that the two leaders spoke about initiatives for enhanced cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy.

The official statement of the Ministry of Power said that RK Singh appreciated the resolve of Maldives government to achieve net zero emission target by 2030.

During the meeting, both leaders proposed two Memoranda of Understanding – on energy cooperation and on transmission interconnection under One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG).

To facilitate Maldives’ energy transition programme, a transmission interconnection for renewable power transfer has been proposed.

A draft agreement is being prepared for the MoU on transmission interconnection under which a technical team from India would visit Maldives to assess the technical feasibility of the project.

Subsequently, a Detailed Project Report (DPR) would be prepared jointly with Indian and Maldives agencies, including undersea cable route survey and network augmentation in Male.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Maldives had just 1 per cent of its energy coming from renewable sources of energy in 2018. In December 2020, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $107.4 million project to help Maldives accelerate its transition to renewable energy and support sustainable recovery.

Last year, India extended a Line of Credit (LoC) of $100 million to Sri Lanka for the development of solar power projects in the island country. Nepal had agreed earlier this month to export its solar power to India after it had joined the International Solar Alliance.

An undersea transmission line of the kind proposed with Maldives will have serious challenges to overcome. Quite apart from the cost implications of an HVDC line between the two countries, there is the matter of demand in Maldives, which may struggle to justify the investment even further. A classic case of innovative solutions that are begging to be discovered. Of course the biggest attraction will remain taking a country that is almost completely dependent on fossil fuels for energy to a renewable path.

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