India is considering exporting electricity to Southeast Asian countries (ASEAN) through Myanmar and Thailand, while using its abundant renewable energy resources at home to promote its influence in the region.
A ministry official in the Indian energy industry said, "Once the Indian national grid is successfully connected to Myanmar, we will be able to increase the power supplied to the country's grid. Next, we will continue to transmit power to Thailand and even extend to East Asia." He also believes that it may take at least four years for India to connect to the Southeast Asian power grid.
Meanwhile, India is promoting the prospect of power deals with Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates. In addition, the country is working with France’s EDF to develop a regulatory framework to address the various challenges involved in electricity purchases, including issues such as pricing. The EDF is expected to finalize the report by the end of the year.
However, in cross-border grid connection plans, the cost of power transmission will be a big challenge. According to an official, the grid connection will include both subsea and onshore parts, and must make full use of resources across the region to drive the integration of renewable energy.
For decades, ASEAN member states have been working to create regional power grids to create conditions conducive to multilateral power trading. However, progress has so far been limited to bilateral agreements between countries.
India plans to increase renewable energy and large hydropower capacity to 500 GW by 2030, from 177 GW currently. Solar fields are expected to account for most of the new capacity additions.
Energy Department officials said the effort would help reduce reliance on fossil fuels since solar power would provide electricity for more hours of the day.
India already exports electricity to Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The country proposed in the new plan to export a small amount of electricity to Myanmar.