Nepal’s power summit on Dec. 15 to draw hydro investors

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    Nepal is set to hold a power summit on Dec. 15-16 in Kathmandu aimed at attracting investors to generate 10,000 megawatts (MW) of hydroelectricity in 10 years, organizers said Thursday.

    The summit follows Nepal’s declaration of a 10-year energy emergency plan, which outlines measures to tackle the country’s energy needs and meet its goals.

    “Countries that are smaller and poorer than us, but like us are landlocked and post-conflict, have already marched ahead (in hydropower generation), but we are still debating whether we need water or hydropower, wasting our precious time,” Independent Power Producers’ Association of Nepal (IPPAN), the organizer of the summit, said in a statement.

    “In order to meet our target of becoming a developing country by 2022, we must produce 10,000 MW in 10 years,” according to the statement.

    The summit will bring together 500 participants and will hold sessions on hydropower policy, energy security, institutional framework to meet the country’s goals, financial management of hydro projects and sustainability of hydropower, among others.

    “We will also discuss foreign direct investment on hydropower, growing electricity consumption and creating a sub-regional electricity market in South Asia,” Shailendra Guragain, vice president of the IPPAN, told reporters.

    Representatives from donor communities, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), as well as World Bank investors from India, China, Norway and Japan will attend the two-day summit, the fifth edition since it began in 2006 after the end of the 10-year insurgency, Guragain said.

    “Representatives of several state institutions will also attend the summit because the state is in the driving seat as we go about tapping our hydropower potential,” said Khadga Bahadur Bisht, the IPPAN’s president. “The sector should be prioritized and protected because energy is also related to national security.”

    Nepal has the potential to generate an estimated 83,000 MW of hydropower, but less than one percent of it has been harnessed so far because of political instability, lack of funds and corruption.

    Source: Energy News Terminal