December 1, 2021, Wednesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

AEPC organises round table discussions on energy mix and energy efficiency

The Nepal Weekly
November 2, 2021

On the occasion of 25th anniversary of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, a round table discussion on round table discussions on Energy Mix for Energy Security and Sustainable Economic Development and Promotion of Energy Efficiency as a new Source of Sustainable Energy Mix in Nepal.

In context of global crisis of climate change and global warming the subject matters are serious and important. Moreover, the global campaign is moving ahead with the agenda of 100% Renewable Energy and Net Zero Emission along with Sustainable Energy for All, Sustainable Development Goals, Clean Cooking for All and some other related to the global cause.

Nepal’s energy consumption pattern is characterized by overwhelming dependence on traditional biomass resources, high energy intensity and low consumption of commercial energy. Nepal has the highest energy intensity, which measures the amount of energy used against the GDP of a country, among the South Asian countries. About 68.6% of the total energy consumed in the country still comes from biomass and the share of the commercial energy is only about 28.2%, renewable energy accounts for about 3.2% of total energy consumption. Nepal aims to maximize utilization of its vast hydropower potential to reduce its dependence on traditional biomass and imported fossil fuels to drive its economy. Besides developing hydropower, Nepal is also promoting utility scale solar PV and wind energy to diversify its power generation mix to meet its ambitious target of 15,000 MW generation capacities by 2030 with increment of per capita electricity consumption of 1500 kWh. The Government of Nepal has focal agencies to promote both power sector and renewable energy. AEPC is mandated for renewable energy and energy efficiency promotion in the country while Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) is responsible for development of the power sector. Both these agencies are under the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI). Furthermore, the Constitution of Nepal has envisioned three-tiered federal structure and given the concurrent rights on power sector and renewable energy to provincial and local governments and they will also be closely interrelated for the development of energy sector.

Experts and professionals opined that keeping in view energy security, Nepal has to develop Peaking Run – of – the- River (PROR) type of hydropower projects and storage type hydropower projects. Pump-storage type of hydropower projects also can support. However, despite of many thought for developing hydropower projects with such features, the country had been developing Run – of – the- River (PROR) type of hydropower projects mainly. Kulekhani hydropower project is the only storage type hydropower project having there cascading electricity generating units (60 + 30 + 14 MW) So far which can support in the peak demand hours. Other hydropower projects such as Kaligandaki, Chilime, UpperTamakoshi have feature of water storing for hours to run the turbines in peak hours.

Remarkably, BudhiGanadaki Hydropower Project with storage feature is one big dream for Nepal which can generate 1,200 MW alone. But, the government initiating is too slow for this project to ahead. That means it may take more than a decade for this to happen in reality. The government is off course smart in talking on other storage type hydropower projects but without actions to move ahead.

Moreover Nepal is generating 2,000 MW of electricity in this wet season. The electricity generation is not fully consumed and 400 to 500 MW has been wasted mainly in night hours. But in the dry season Nepal will have to import from India to fulfil the demand as the ROR hydropower projects normally generate at 30% of installed capacity.

Therefore keeping view energy security, the country has to formulate effective policies and implementation modalities without delay, experts opined during the discussions.

Similarly, more priority should be given to other than hydropower projects to be safe from natural disasters. Thus, enough attention should be given to develop Solar PV Plants with technical, financial facilities to the private developers. Similarly, easy process and access need to develop for connecting Roof-top Solar PV systems to the national grid.

Electricity generated by wind power is another potential resource for Nepal to add as diversified technology.

Moreover the policy on energy mixed ratio should be reviewed to provide more space for non-hydropower systems. The experts mentioned that the government has to work efficiently on electricity consuming sectors. Industries, transportation and residential uses are the main consumers but industries are not in the growth and existing industries could have better supply of electricity. The government also has to work on better policies to bring in electric vehicles for with focus to promote public electric transportation. Electric cooking is another big scope for electricity to be consumed.

However, the existing transmission and distribution systems should be enhanced and upgraded ensuring uninterrupted quality electric supply to all consumers which will help consumers to go for more use of electricity to substitute use of fossil fuels like diesel, petrol and liquefied petroleum gas(LPG).

The discussion programme with chaired by Dr.Madhusudhan Adhikari and Prof. Dr. Surendra Labh Karna, member of National Planning Commission was chief guest. On the occasion Prof. Dr. Amrit Man Nakarmi, Prof. Dr. Govind Raj Pokhrel, Dr. Shaligram Pokhrel, Dr. Ram Prasad Dhital, Mr. Pushkar Manandhar, Dr. Simon Lukas, Dr. Indira Shakya, Mr. Anjal Niraula, Mr. Sunil KC, Mr. Guru Neupane highlighted the importance of energy mix for Nepal.

Mr. Nawa Raj Dhakal delivered welcomed remarks and the programme was facilitated by Mr. Suman Basnet.

Similarly on the other day, Mr. Nawa Raj Dhakal, Deputy Executive Director, AEPC presented on Institutionalization of Energy Efficiency: A Way forward for Promotion of Sustainable Energy in Nepal – and Mr. Bishal Thapa presented on Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Nepal: Successes, Challenges and Way Forward. Prof. Dr. Tri Ratna Bajracharya, Director, Centre for Energy Studies, Institute of Engineering, TU, Mr. Sandip Kumar Dev, Director General, DoED, Mr. Prabhat Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General, NBSM, Mr. Shreeram Prokharel, Chief, Energy Efficiency and Loss Reduction Department, NEA ,Mr. Arniko Rajbhandari, EC Member, FNCCI, Dr. Narayan Chaulagain, Senior Energy Specialist, GIZ Program moderator spoke on various matters related to need of energy efficiency, implementation modality and studies. The programme was moderated by Mr. Anil Chitrakar, Sr. Energy Expert.

The experts and professional mentioned that energy efficiency simply means using less energy to perform the same task – that is, eliminating energy waste. Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing demand for energy imports, and lowering our costs on a household and economy-wide level. While renewable energy technologies also help accomplish these objectives, improving energy efficiency is the cheapest – and often the most immediate – way to reduce the use of fossil fuels. There are enormous opportunities for efficiency improvements in every sector of the economy, whether it is buildings, transportation, industry, or energy generation. Thus, energy efficiency in Nepal’s context is equally important as saving energy with compromising the quality and amount of uses by minimum energy equally productive as generating energy.