Last year, India amended its procedures to allow Bhutanese electricity generating entities to trade power in real-time
In a significant move to enhance the longstanding energy collaboration between India and Bhutan, the Government of India has facilitated the trading of electricity from Bhutan’s Basochhu and Nikachhu hydropower plants in the Indian Power Exchanges' Day Ahead and Real Time Markets. This step, announced last week, is in line with the Vision Statement on India-Bhutan Energy Partnership, issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bhutan in March 2024.
Enhanced Trade Mechanisms

The partnership saw a pivotal development in 2023 when the Indian government amended its procedures to allow Bhutanese power producers to sell electricity in the Real Time Market segment of the Indian Power Exchanges. This enabled Bhutanese electricity generating entities to trade power in real-time, thereby minimizing deviations and optimizing the trade process.
The inclusion of the Basochhu hydropower plant in the Day Ahead Market in 2023 marked the beginning of this enhanced trade mechanism. Now, with the addition of the Nikachhu hydropower plant, the scope of electricity trade between the two nations has significantly broadened.
A Partnership of Trust and Mutual Benefit
"India and Bhutan share an exemplary bilateral relationship characterized by trust, goodwill, and mutual understanding at all levels," states the Joint Vision Statement on India-Bhutan Energy Partnership. This robust relationship is built on strong bonds of friendship and close people-to-people contacts.
"There are unprecedented opportunities to further strengthen their mutually beneficial clean energy partnership, including through the development of new energy projects and electricity trade," emphasized the Vision Statement.
Unprecedented Opportunities in Clean Energy
During Prime Minister Modi's visit to Bhutan in March this year, he and Bhutanese Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay engaged in wide-ranging discussions. They reaffirmed their commitment to elevating this extraordinary bilateral partnership, focusing on future opportunities.
Both leaders acknowledged the remarkable contribution of their clean energy partnership to Bhutan's hydropower sector development and the region's energy security. Prime Minister Modi commended the growing domestic capacity of Bhutanese firms and technical agencies in implementing energy projects.
“Our energy cooperation is a visible illustration of deep economic engagement, which results in mutually beneficial outcomes. We will continue to expand our clean energy partnership in the sectors of hydropower, solar and green hydrogen and jointly develop new projects, which channel our technological prowess, vibrancy of the business sector, and skilled talent of both countries to enhance energy security in the region. In this regard, we welcome the Joint Vision Statement on India-Bhutan Energy Partnership,” the Joint Statement issued during Prime Minister Modi’s March visit said.
The two nations are actively exploring new avenues for energy trade to expand their long-standing bilateral cooperation.
The India-Bhutan energy partnership is poised for remarkable growth. As India gears up to double its power capacity to meet the escalating demand, and with Bhutan's expanding hydropower capabilities, the future holds immense potential for both nations.
Events such as the Transmission & Distribution Conclave 2024 in Pune highlight the critical importance of an efficient, resilient grid and the global push towards net-zero emissions. These platforms bring together industry titans, policymakers, and experts to discuss and shape the future of energy, reflecting the strategic priorities of both India and Bhutan.
In conclusion, the expanding electricity trade partnership between India and Bhutan not only reinforces their energy cooperation but also sets a precedent for sustainable and mutually beneficial energy collaborations in the region. This partnership endures the bond and shared vision of two neighbouring nations striving for a greener, more prosperous future.