Explaining Challenges of Energy Connectivity in South Asia

Author: Lam-ya Mostaque

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Ensuring energy security has emerged as one of the key challenges all over the world. To meet that challenge, countries have resorted to increasing cooperation among themselves which resulted in many successful energy connectivity initiatives. In South Asia, countries are facing increasing energy demand with its rapid economic development. The concept of energy cooperation is not new in South Asia and countries have tried to initiate it through many regional and sub-regional forums. However, the success in implementing them has been very limited. This paper tries to understand why energy connectivity initiatives in South Asia has remained elusive. To that end, the paper conceptualizes energy connectivity and identifies enabling factors that help a n energy connectivity initiative. It finds that some of those factors are missing in South Asia, which is why implementing energy connectivity initiatives has been challenging and the challenges are often intertwined. The paper concludes by stressing that energy connectivity is vital for meeting the future energy needs of the region and countries should take a step by step approach to implement it.