The annual report of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) estimates that 24.94 percent of the electricity generated in this country is lost to leakage. This means 154 megawatts are being lost, this is more than the capacity of the Rs 26 billion Kali Gandaki project that generates 144 megawatts. A new hydropower plant to generate the electricity lost would cost Rs 52 billion, if you take the cost of the Middle Marsyangdi as a benchmark.
Loss can be caused by technical factorsm which the NEA argues is impossible to reduce. Better transmissions, transformers and maintenance could reduce this loss. If the NEA reduced system loss by one percent it would mean six megawatts of electricity could be saved-as much as the capacity of the Puwa Khola which is costing Rs 2.5 billion to build.
In a few days, consumers will be facing frequent blackouts. The NEA says it can't control pilferage of electricity because of the unrest in the tarai. This is disingenuous. The highest rate of pilferage is not in the tarai, it is in Bhaktapur district. Controlling leakage and pilferage is important because NEA's fortunes are tied to the country's economy.