The Price of Power: The Political Economy of Electricity Trade and Hydropower in Eastern South Asia
South Asia, generally described as “the least integrated region in the world,” has made remarkable progress in power trading and cooperation on resources over the last two decades. Regional power cooperation has come a long way from exchanges of power between small border towns and early ideas for an energy ring. By 2025, trade could be powered by ten power plants with installed capacities of around 9 GW and half a dozen high capacity transmission lines. This report begins with a description of the general evolution of regional electricity markets and the BBIN market’s current place in that trajectory. The second section frames the geopolitical context in which this market is evolving. The third section surveys demand signals for Himalayan hydropower over the next decade, with a focus on India’s power market and Bangladesh’s energy crisis.