We have another breakthrough interconnection to report. India and Bangladesh have completed their first cross-border high-voltage direct current (HVDC) link between these neighbor nations. Bangladesh remains a developing nation with only a 41% electrification rate. 95 million Bangladeshis remain in the dark. While India is further along in development, 25% (288 million people) still have no power. Linking their two systems helps both.
Significant politically, connecting these former rivals (Hindu vs. Muslim nations) provides a mutually beneficial trading relationship that can expand over time. The exchange of power helps level loads between time zones and seasonal variations.
India also purchases power from hydro-rich Nepal and Bhutan. It's a relatively short distance to extend these transmission links between all four nations increasing trade and raising living standards throughout the South Asia region.
The Asia Development Bank helped to fund the project and stated, "expanding supply will help businesses and improve the delivery of essential services like education and healthcare." Basic lighting and refrigeration require electricity.
One of GENI's interns from India, Farhan Beg, just finished his research on "Connecting the Supergrid in South Asia" which would use HVDC to link all six nations: India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The continent is blessed with abundant solar, hydropower and wind and this Supergrid will enable all nations to access cleaner energy together ... more power, less pollution.
When you visit South Asia you experience the rich culture, languages and history. At the same time you can see deep poverty that can be upgraded by access to electricity. These international linkages are not easy requiring technical and economic justification before policy-makers shake hands. We are encouraged with this new link, as it will catalyze more cooperation in the region. Please share, like and link this important breakthrough.
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