Entrepreneurs for scaling up renewable energy technologies



    Entrepreneurs and investors have expressed interest in scaling up renewable energy technologies so as to help the country achieve energy security.

    During a programme titled ‘Energy for All Investor Forum’ held here on Friday, entrepreneurs and officials of banks and financial institutions expressed their readiness to invest in innovative energy production concepts and to expand the use of renewable energy to industrial units.

    The forum, participated by nine enterprises, 10 investors and 150 representatives from government and development partners, discussed measures to scale up the existing conventional renewable energy technologies that has particularly focused on providing electricity for cooking and lightening purposes for households.

    The forum was organised by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), a government entity working on promotion and development of renewable energy technologies, in support from Asian Development Bank.

    AEPC Chief Executive Office Govind Pokharel said the sector has so far been largely dependent on small-scale solutions undertaken by the government such as providing grant and subsidies along with technical assistance.

    “It is high time to attract private enterprises and financial institutions to upgrade the existing energy scenario and encourage investment,” he said, adding that renewable energy should now be used for creating economic opportunities through small-scale industries and other enterprises.

    So far, promotion, development and installation of various renewable energy technologies such as micro/mini hydro projects, solar power systems, wind, bio-gas and improved cooking stoves, among others, are undertaken by the government in support from donor agencies and developmental partners. However, these efforts have been limited to providing energy for rural communities for cooking and lightening purposes.

    Stakeholders said despite huge potential and growing interest from innovative entrepreneurs working in the sector, promotion of relevant technologies, including solar power, has not been satisfactory.

    Meanwhile, enterprises, which have developed innovative business models such as electricity generation from poultry waste to bio-mass briquette production in large scale and mini-grids, have shown interest to commercialise the technologies.

    Sharawan Pradhan from Gham Power Nepal, a private company working in the field of solar energy system, said private enterprises were facing difficulties due to the lack of proper government policies, poor investment climate and lack of access to funding agencies. “There is need for boosting the confidence of private entrepreneurs to achieve the goal of energy access to all,” he added.

    Manoj Goyal, chief executive officer of Clean Energy Development Bank, and one of the panellists at the forum, said banks and financial institutions were ready finance ‘commercially viable and innovative’ plans. During the programme, various innovative business models — ranging from generating electricity above 1MW from poultry wastes to briquette industry and installation of mini-grids to distribute and sell power collected from various energy sources — were presented.

    Source : The Kathmandu Post