May 27, 2024, Monday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Enhancement of RE business for economics, employment and support climate actions

The Nepal Weekly
April 9, 2024

Global warming is accelerating faster than is currently understood and will result in a key temperature threshold being breached as soon as this decade, scientists including the US scientist who first alerted the world to the greenhouse effect mention.

The Earth’s climate is more sensitive to human-caused changes than scientists have realized until now, meaning that a “dangerous” burst of heating will be unleashed that will push the world to be 1.5C hotter than it was, on average, in pre-industrial times within the 2020s and 2C hotter by 2050, it is predicted.

This alarming speed-up of global warming, which would mean the world breaches the internationally agreed 1.5C threshold set out in the Paris climate agreement far sooner than expected, risks a world “less tolerable to humanity, with greater climate extremes”, scientists argue.

Thus, fossil fuels and other acts which contribute to climate change are seriously taken to avoid or minimise.

To fight climate change, renewable energy sources have been recognized one of the ‘sure shot’ tools.

Hence, renewable energy technologies are important interventions which can play crucial role in mitigating the effects of climate change and fostering a sustainable future for our planet.

The most immediate and significant impact of renewable energy is its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Solar, wind, and hydropower, among others, produce electricity without emitting CO2 or other harmful pollutants. By shifting our energy production away from fossil fuels and towards renewables, we can significantly decrease the carbon footprint of the energy sector.

RETs are continually improving in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Solar panels are becoming more efficient, wind turbines are reaching new heights, and energy storage solutions are advancing rapidly. This increased efficiency allows for greater energy production with fewer resources, further reducing our carbon emissions.

Investing in renewable energy sources enhances a nation’s energy independence and security. By relying less on imported fossil fuels, we can insulate ourselves from the volatility of global energy markets and geopolitical conflicts related to oil and gas resources. This also helps diversify the energy mix, reducing vulnerability to supply disruptions.

The RE sector has the potential to create millions of jobs globally. Installing and maintaining renewable energy systems, manufacturing solar panels and wind turbines, and developing new technologies all require a skilled workforce. As we invest in renewable energy, they stimulate economic growth and job creation.

The pursuit of RE solutions encourages innovation and technological advancement. Research and development in clean energy technologies have led to breakthroughs in energy storage, grid management, and energy-efficient appliances. These innovations not only benefit the environment but also drive economic growth and competitiveness.

While RE holds great promise in the fight against climate change, it is not without its challenges. One major obstacle is the sporadic nature of some renewable sources, such as wind and solar. Energy storage solutions like batteries and grid upgrades are crucial to ensuring a reliable and consistent energy supply.

Also, the transition from fossil fuels to renewables requires sizeable investments in infrastructure and a commitment to moving away from carbon-intensive energy sources. We all have roles to play in this transition.

RE is not just an option; it is a necessity in our battle against climate change. Its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance energy efficiency, and stimulate economic growth makes it a vital component of any climate action plan. The urgency of the climate crisis demands that we accelerate our transition to renewable energy sources and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. By doing so, we can protect our planet, ensure a sustainable future for generations to come, and finally turn the tide on climate change.

Need of RE promotion and development has been mentioned in Sustainable Development Goals, Conference of Parties (COPs) of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by concerned countries and international development agencies related to scientific, technical and financial aspects.

COP 16, COP27 and COP28 had established different but very important norms for development of RETs in order to bring climate change into control.

The COP28 held a few months ago in United Arab Emirates witnessed a loud voice to phase out fossil fuels from the planet at the soonest which was later agreed to phase out gradually. That means the motion is directed to RETs. The conclave also endorsed actions of RE to extend to triple the size while double the efficiency of energy by the year 2030. Notably, the immediate actions stated later was recommended by IRENA and IPCC.

For Nepal, the country which has plenty of potential in development of RETs has a number of commitment including endorsement on the SDGs Goals, published Energy Whitepaper, submitted NDC and the then Prime Minister had announced Net Zero Emission by 2045 at COP 26. The global scenario has provided opportunities to Nepal for development RETs in the country. 

The country is developing hydropower plants and other RETs rapidly to tackle the energy it needs and also to provide to neighbouring countries.RE means an important tool for the country to replace consumption of fossil fuels which the country imports paying a huge bill.

Development of RETs for Nepal is to develop industries, agriculture, transport systems and residential uses. That create entrepreneurship, employment and appropriate use of land.

Hence, Hydropower plants of Megawatt size, microhydro systems, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Biogas, Biomass are the RETs for Nepal to develop. The hydropower developed so far are not capable to provide energy in the dry season so that electricity is imported from India to fill up the shortage. This can be managed by developing Solar Farms in large sizes and numbers with battery backup facilities as the country has only one water storage hydropower plant.

The policy related to RE development requires to be private sector friendly and stability. Similarly, the state should be facilitating for capacity development and huge investment for not only RE businesses but also for the business development of industries, transportation, agriculture and so on. That means, the private sector should have been taken into confidence to invest in RETs.

Hence, ways should be widened by improving policy for Solar PV farming, Grid connected, Solar PV Rooftop, Agrivoltaic, Extended SHS, municipalities in generating renewable energy with or without private sector partnership in megawatt energy storage Solar PV systems. Similarly, Large scale digesters, waste management, engagement of local governments, Bio-briquettes to replace all industrial coal consumption. That even contributes to control forest fire besides use of forest waste (which can capitalize 80 billion rupees per year).