February 22, 2024, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

International Day of Clean Energy and AEPC establishment Day observed

Bill on ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Bill’ will be tabled in Parliament soon, says Minister Basnet

The Nepal Weekly
January 30, 2024
Minister Basnet speaking on the occasion

Minister of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, has mentioned that preparations to table the ‘Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Bill 2080’ in the parliament within a month. He made this announcement during the 27th anniversary of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) in Kathmandu. The day coincides to the first International Clean Energy Day.

Minister Basnet stated that the ministry is preparing the draft of the bill to encompass all forms of renewable energy, aiming to not limit the scope of renewable energy in Nepal. He emphasized the comprehensive nature of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Regarding Nepal’s commitments to carbon emission reduction and its dedication to sustainable energy development, the government has been working towards promoting renewable and clean energy technologies. Minister Basnet stressed the important role that AEPC has played in the development of renewable energy. He also emphasized its actions in the future.

Minister Basnet mentioned that in order to reduce the climate crisis which emerged as a threat to the world and living beings a concept of ‘beginning of the end’ for fossil fuel era’ has been dealt in the COP28. That guides to Triple the renewable energy generation and double the energy efficiency. Thus, policies and programmes are being planned in Nepal as well.

He urged the private sector not to be disheartened by the government’s encouragement towards renewable energy generation. Subsidies alone is not the only component to motivate the private sector, but their participation is essential for the country’s progress.

Gopal Prasad Sigdel, Secretary of Ministry, stated that the legal procedure is soon to accomplish for renaming of Alternative Energy Promotion Center to ‘Renewable Energy Promotion Center. He highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts to achieve 100% electricity access in Nepal within the next two years.

Dr. Prabhu Budhathoki, member of the National Planning Commission urged for constructive suggestions regarding the five-year periodic plan being formulated for the renewable energy sector, emphasizing the need for technological advancement to expand energy access in the future.

During the occasion, Sarita Dawadi, Secretary of the Water and Energy Commission Secretariat highlighted AEPC’s significant role in expanding energy access to residents of the remote locations over the past 27 years.

Executive Director Nava Raj Dhakal of AEPC highlighted the organization’s contribution to expanding energy access through collaborations with the government, development partners, and the private sector. He also noted the increase in energy mix from 0.015% to 3.89% achieved by AEPC.

British Ambassador to Nepal Rob Fenn expressed the UK government’s readiness to support Nepal in its hydroelectric development, considering hydropower as a game-changer for Nepal’s prosperity.

Same as, Guna Raj Dhakal, Chairman of the Renewable Energy Confederation (RECON), acknowledged the substantial contributions made by the private sector to the development of renewable energy in Nepal, despite the government’s lack of encouragement. Dhakal mentioned that policies for technical development and financing to widen the private sector engagement in RETs has been a need that the Government should reconsider. He also pointed out the risk of skilled technicians migrating abroad, leaving achievements behind.

On the occasion, RECON and private sector organization handed over an appreciation to AEPc for its engagement in promotion and development of RETs in Nepal for its 27 years of service.

During the event, AEPC’s directors Dr. Surya Kumar Sapkota and Rudra Prasad Khanal, senior officer Santosh Rai, administrative officer Sabita Aryal, and driver Surya Syangtan were honoured with long service awards for their 20 years of service at AEPC.

On the occasion, Simple Energy Pvt. Ltd., Khimti Rural Electric Cooperative, and Bencher Vest to Energy Pvt. Ltd. were awarded the Suprabidh Renewable Energy Award for their contributions to the renewable energy sector. The “Suprabidh Smriti Akshayakosh” was established in memory of Suprabidh Subhash Shrestha who lost his life in an accident eight years ago.

Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) is a Government institution established on November 3, 1996, under the Ministry of Science and Technology with the objective of developing and promoting renewable/alternative energy technologies in Nepal. Currently, it is under the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation. It functions independently and has an eleven members board with representatives from the government sector, industry sector and non-governmental organizations. According to executive director of AEPC Nawa Raj Dhakal, AEPC’s contribution to the country’s energy production through renewable energy amounted to approximately 85 MW. He also mentioned that around 3.6 million households have benefited from this electricity.

AEPC has generated revenue of around USD 32 million from carbon credits so far, and an additional USD 49.2 million has been approved by the Green Climate Fund (GCF) for further income generation.

(By R P Narayan)

Relevant write up: thenepalweekly.com/2024/01/23/18936/