In order to reduce loadshedding in urban centres, the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre has launched an ambitious solar energy subsidy programme aiming to cater to 25,000 households in 14 municipalities.
Those municipalities include Butwal, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi, Dhankuta, Biratnagar, Janakpur, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur.
AEPC will provide Rs 5,000 subsidy to each household for installing 100-200 watts solar system. It will also provide Rs 8,000 subsidy to each household for installing solar system of 200 watts and above, said Santosh Rai, programme officer of AEPC.
According to Santosh Rai, quality control officer of AEPC, the households that have been using inverters will have to generate at least 40 per cent of the energy from the AEPC supported solar system in order to qualify for the AEPC subsidy. He said the main aim of the new programme was to reduce households’ dependency on Nepal Electricity Authority-supported inverters. It is estimated that 50 per cent of households in the Kathmandu valley (three lakh households) use inverters.
AEPC sources said the new programme will be beneficial for those who are compelled to use kerosene and candles during loadshedding hours. The AEPC launched this programme on February 5th and was expecting overwhelming response but has received only 108 applications so far. Ram Prasad Dhital, programme manager of AEPC (Solar Energy Sub-Component), said his office was launching a campaign to generate awareness among targeted customers about the benefits of solar energy system and AEPC’s new programme. The AEPC also wants to advertise for the programmes through various media outlets.
“Detaching inverter from the grid and connecting it to the solar power so that the grid can be used for factories and other purposes. This is our first awareness policy,” said Dhital.
Though the idea of subsidy is old, it has been the motivational aspect for everyone. The AEPC plans to install six lakh solar systems in the next five years under National Rural and Renewal Energy Programme. It has supported five lakh solar systems between 1999 and 2013. Dhital said response for subsidy programme was not very encouraging, but his office would launch a media campaign to popularise the programme.
Source : The Himalayan Times