Renewable energy can stimulate economic growth

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    KATHMANDU: The Energy for All Investor Forum Nepal provided energy enterprises the chance to pitch their business plans to investors interested in the renewable energy sector.

    “Providing access to renewable energy creates new businesses and livelihood opportunities,” said Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director Kenichi Yokoyama, speaking during a workshop organised by the ADB and Alternative Energy Promotion Centre Nepal (AEPC) here today to promote more private sector investment in Nepal’s renewable energy sector.

    “It relieves women of hours of labour, collecting fuel and then hauling it back home from great distances,” he said, adding that clean, renewable energy is a solution to stimulating economic growth and reducing poverty without adding to the global problem of climate change. “ADB is assisting Nepal to access more resources to invest in renewable energy.”

    Nepal will receive $40 million from the Climate Investment Funds and matching funds from ADB to start the Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme with a view to leveraging an additional $160 million from other partners.

    “Through Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme, Nepal can take promising steps towards achieving the country’s goal of providing modern energy access to 100 per cent of its population, by mobilising much needed public and private sector investments,” Yokoyama added.

    On the occasion, executive director of AEPC Prof Dr Govind Raj Pokharel said that AEPC shares the goals of Energy for All and other complementary initiatives like the Energy Plus and Sustainable Energy for All.

    “Instead of relying on its own resources to support energy access projects, AEPC is adopting a new strategy and is seeking to leverage private sector capital and expertise to generate more impact,” he said, adding that AEPC is collaborating with ADB’s Energy for All Programme to provide enterprise-level support to energy access enterprises in Nepal.

    The workshop is a part of the Energy for All Programme launched by ADB in 2008 to increase its investment in the energy access sector. The Energy for All Partnership was formed in 2009 to extend ADB’s support to like-minded organisations and form a coalition that shares the objective of providing modern energy access to 100 million people by 2015.

    The Energy for All Programme is being supported by various partners including the governments of Japan, Austria, Australia, Norway as well as Denmark and Switzerland. The Australian government’s support through Australian Aid is specifically focused on development of mini-grids in Asia and the Pacific.

    Some nine enterprises, 10 investors and 150 representatives from government and development partners participated in the event.

    Enterprises gaining investor interest became eligible for the Energy for All’s Mentoring Programme and Investment Facilitation Services. The programmes help enterprises to get their project ready for financing.

    Source : The Himalayan Times