18th March, 2020
Kathmandu: It is universal truth that energy is the engine of economic development. Adequate, affordable and reliable energy is required for the economic development of the country. Energy from the renewable source can help developing countries to achieve higher GDPs and new levels of prosperity and livelihood. Hence the drawbacks of conventional energies and enormous renewable energy potential in developing countries gives ample opportunities for promoting and deploying large- scale renewable energies. This will provide clean energy and will support the massive development in the infrastructure, generate employment opportunities, improve the livelihood of the people and that will ultimately lead overall development of the country.
Biomass is the main energy source for millions of people mostly living under the poverty. Nepal heavily depends on firewood for cooking in rural areas and kerosene for lighting. And LPG gases for cooking and petroleum products for transportation in the urban areas. This has led to deforestation and has damaged the local environment. Plenty of money has been spending in importing the petroleum products. Similarly, study shows that around 22% of total population in Nepal have no access to electricity.
After the long period of civil war and political instability in the country, now the country has the stable political situation where the government is giving priority to economic development and construction of the infrastructure (e.g., National Grid extension, development of the big hydropower project, roads, railway track etc.) and riveting for the economic growth of the Nation. So, in this situation we are planning to construct the hydropower’s in the rural areas through different models, for e.g. with the public private participation, public intuitions, and government itself also. Similarly, the solar PV are rapidity connecting to the national grid.
In this regard, Nepal is abundantly blessed with various renewable resources. The country has high potential of hydropower, solar energy. With the 300 days/year sunlight for almost 8 hours a day make the country one of the high potential of the solar energy. Similarly more than 6000 rivers and the steep territory make the country high potential of hydropower in the country. In addition to that, country is surrounded by the big power house like China and India create huge possibility of the regional market for the electricity. Deployment of the renewables will make the country self-sustainable in clean energy, improve the livelihood of the people, and increase the employment opportunity in the country. Therefore, developing the renewable energy available in the country will boom the local economy and ultimately the national economy and enhance the livelihood of the Nepalese people and will increase the energy security and decrease the dependency of the imported fossil fuels.
Furthermore, the used of the firewood for cooking will also be replaced by the electricity produced through the clean renewable energy sources. If we have the reliable and safe and quality electricity supply from our own renewable energy sources soon or latter the LPG gas in the urban areas will also be replaced with the electricity.
Moreover, electricity from the clean energy sources will have no negative impact to the environment. Therefore, one of the powerful motivations to use renewable energy will also be the increasing concerns over climate change. The need to reduce dependence on foreign energy and fossil fuels which are depleting rapidly is one of the major motivations for exploring the energy from renewable sources as major country economic is going on purchasing the petroleum products. In this regard, all the relevant sectors directly or indirectly working in this energy field should be encourage and fascinated for deploying the renewable energies from all the available resources in the country to have the pleasant energy mix in the system. Ultimately, use of these renewable resources will help to develop and supply the sustainable independent energy to the country.
Therefore, a well-designed tax system on energy use can help in shifting from hydrocarbons to renewable energy sources (e.g. of shifting LPG gas with the electricity from renewable energy) and will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will have the sustainable consuming pattern in the energy field. Environment taxes on use of LPGs and fossil fuels and priority to the energy from the renewable with the subsidies in renewable energy can help in shifting the use of fossils fuels with the renewables. The awareness and sensitization of the use of the electricity from the renewable to all the stakeholders’ policy makers, consumers is very essential to promote the renewable energy for the sustainable economic growth of the country and to shift the energy consumption pattern from the non-renewables to renewables
In conclusion, collaboration on a policy and good regulatory environment that supports investment in renewable energy source is essential and very much required embrace the energy sector in sustainable manner.
Manager (Electrical Engineer)
Nepal Electricity Authority