Inviting applications for the SAREP Grants Annual Program Statement (APS) – FY2024. For more information click Here.

Performance of energy utilities improved

USAID helps advance the financial viability and efficiency of local power utilities through the modernization and expansion of generation, transmission and distribution systems. USAID is also fostering the adoption of cybersecurity measures, smart metering measures, regulatory and tariff reforms.

The region’s electric and gas utilities must be financially viable in order to provide—and expand—access to affordable and reliable energy. USAID helps advance the financial viability and efficiency of local power utilities through the modernization and expansion of generation, transmission and distribution systems.

With an increase in renewable generation, the grid operator needs enhanced flexibility on generation output from power plants. Unlike gas generators, coal power plants are not inherently designed to change their output levels frequently, as frequent change in output can damage the plants and reduce plant life. Also, there is a technical limit on minimum power output below which a coal powered generated cannot be operated. While new coal power plants can be designed to change their output and operate at a lower capacity, old coal plants require retrofitting to be able to change their output quickly. In the absence of retrofitting, there are risks associated with renewable generation curtailment, technical and economic shut down of coal plants.

The distribution sector is arguably one of the most critical parts of the value chain to provide access to reliable, affordable, and uninterrupted power. Distribution utilities across South Asia are facing increased pressure to adapt to changes brought on by renewable energy, distributed energy resources, electric vehicles, and customer choice in power procurement. These changes translate into both technical and financial challenges. There is thus a critical need for improved distribution sector investment in planning, utility modernization, and most importantly institutional strengthening, building capacity of stakeholders and enhancing coordination and knowledge exchange.