By Krishna Adhikari
The promotion of biogas in the country is not encouraging due to lack of friendly policies and working procedures. Though the private sector has its leading role in the promotion of biogas technology in the country, it faces hurdles to deliver expected results in absence of revisions in the grant polices compatible with the time and absence private sector –friendly policies and working procedures, stakeholders claimed.
Taking part in a programme organised on the occasion of the 26th AGM of Nepal Biogas Promotion Association (NBPA) recently in Lalitpur, the participants echoed the need of government priority to the private sector as to make biogas accessible to indigent, marginalized and backward communities. Around 450 thousands biogas plants for the domestic use has been installed so far in the country and around 15 thousand people have been directly employed here while its creates indirect and part-time jobs for 20 thousands.
The participants at the programme said the use of biogas for domestic purposes had not been only a reliable and safe source of cooking fuel, but it had been a good source of income through carbon trade. Secretary at the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Dinesh Ghimire, said biogas carried a long history as the source of renewable energy in Nepal and it had contributed to the environment protection and reduction of the dependency on fuel imports. According to him, the government is ready to collaborating with the private sector for further promotion of biogas technology.
Alternative Energy Promotion Centre’s executive director Dr Madhusudan Adhikari said the government ensured grants and soft loan for poor to have access to biogas technology. The government’s focus is on the use of clean energy for reducing the greenhouse gas effect and global warming. Nepal has already started carbon trade through the biogas technology and its market is getting expanded, according to him.
Association president Prakash Chandra Subedi said although the private companies working in the biogas sector have the capacity to install more than 50 thousand biogas plants annually, this number of plants have not been installed as the government has not made provisions for subsidies and paid attention to producing additional biogas technicians in place of those who have gone abroad. He expressed his displeasure over the government making provisions in this fiscal year’s budget for subsidy to only 10 thousand biogas plants, urging it to provide additional grants and collateral-free loans for increasing the access of the impoverished section of the population to this technology. Subedi also called for adopting appropriate technology.
Renewable Energy Confederation of Nepal’s president Gunaraj Dhakal highlighted the significance of the biogas technology, saying it helps reduce the dependence on imported fuel by producing clean energy and contributes to producing organic fertiliser. He stressed that the State should focus on its expansion and development. Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Vice-president, Anjan Shrestha said the State should provide special incentives and subsidies to clean energy technologies as biogas in the context of the growing significance of green economy throughout the world to combat climate change impact.
There is possibility of retaining millions from going abroad if the dependency on LP Gas could be reduced by promoting the biogas technology which is considered as an easy solution to the global energy crisis. It was informed on the occasion that the use of biogas has contributed to reducing the dependency on chemical fertiliser to some extent as nearly two tonnes of organic fertiliser can be produced per every single biogas plant annually. There are currently over 150 companies and workshops working in the production of biogas technology and its installation in the country at present. The Biogas and Agricultural Implements Development Pvt Ltd was established in Fiscal Year 2033/34 BS.