Climate Change Alters Hydroelectricity Production: Impacts and Challenges

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KATHMANDU, Feb 23: The production of hydropower projects based on river flow has decreased rapidly in the dry season, posing a challenge to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in power management. According to the NEA, the lack of balance between production and demand of hydropower projects based on river flow has added challenges to power management.

Kulman Ghising, managing director of NEA, said that due to climate change, hydropower projects based on river flow are producing only 10 percent of electricity in winter.

“Hydroelectric projects based on river flow are producing only 10 percent of the total installed capacity,” he said, “The installed capacity of various projects in the Kabeli corridor is more than 200 megawatts, but now only 20 megawatts of electricity is being produced from that corridor.”

Managing Director Ghising claimed that the production of electricity is decreasing due to more droughts in the current fiscal year compared to last year. “There is not enough snow this year in winter,” he said.

According to the NEA, the demand for electricity was 28 million units per day in winter last year, but in the current fiscal year, the demand for electricity is 35 million units per day.

At least 30 to 40 percent of electricity production is required for projects based on river flow, which is currently decreasing. According to the NEA, the demand for electricity increases by more than 300 megawatts in the winter every year, but the balance has not been achieved even when the annual rate is increased by 500-700 megawatts.

Ghising claimed that the solar plant project has been prioritized to meet the winter demand. “We have prioritized the solar plants that can be built within one or two years,” he said, “The solar plants will make a huge difference in the energy mix.”

He said that the NEA is preparing to proceed with the construction phase by prioritizing semi-reservoir and reservoir projects. In recent times, the domestic demand is being met by importing around 500 megawatts of electricity from India.

 

Source:  Republica