New Delhi: India's power sector regulator CERC Monday suggested establishing a South Asian power trading market to help ease acute electricity shortages facing many nations in the region.
The suggestion comes at a time when discussions are on between India and South Asian countries such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for setting up inter-regional electricity transmission lines.
"A SAARC sub regional power trading market will be beneficial to member countries. It will help in reaping the benefit of competition and efficiency through trading on power exchanges," Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) Chairperson Pramod Deo said.
Such a market would help in trading electricity between India and other countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, he said.
Deo was speaking at the inaugural session of the three- day global power exchanges conference, co-organised by country's largest electricity bourse, Indian Energy Exchange (IEX).
He said that with political will and institutional framework in place, South Asian nations can have regional power trading market.
According to him, Pakistan has also shown interest in importing electricity from India.
Going by estimates, energy demand in the SAARC region is projected to grow at an annual rate of five per cent.
India has power transmission links with Bhutan and Nepal while discussions are progressing for similar lines with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
In India, electricity trading is at a nascent stage and there are two operational power bourses -- IEX and Power Exchange India Ltd (PXIL).