Understanding of Renewable Energy

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    Recently (January 20 to 26), Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, under the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology organised the ‘Renewable Energy Week 2013’ in Kathmandu. The Energy Week aimed to promote renewable energy technologies in Nepal in order to battle the energy crisis that Nepal is currently facing.

    In this context, The Himalayan Times asked a few people regarding their Renewable energy is the kind of energy that is never ending.

    The energy is unlimited and if we are able to harness this kind of energy, we do not need to depend upon energy sources like fossil fuel that are limited in nature. For instance, the energy that we generate from the sun or solar energy is unlimited.

    Similarly wind energy, bio-gas and energy from hydro-power are other potential forms of renewable energy in the context of Nepal. But I think solar energy and bio-gas are the most suitable for country like Nepal. Solar energy can be easily harnessed if sun shines properly in a place, and if there is sufficient dung of animal and human feces, bio-gas can be produced without much difficulty. They can be installed on a small scale, even by a household and require small investment, unlike hydropower that requires huge investment. — Jina Sharma, teacher, Bhaktapur

    I stay in rented accommodation and my landlord does not have provision for alternative energy during the time of load shedding. So, I am forced to take help of candles during load shedding. But back at my home in Saptari, we have installed solar home system in our house. And the electricity generated from this is used to light bulbs and watch TV. Though we have connection with the national grid also, there is load shedding most of the time and this renewable form of energy has really helped us to address the energy woe back home. Therefore, I think solar could be the best answer to address the present energy crisis in Nepal, even of Kathmandu. The government can make it compulsory for the house owners to install solar home system so that they do not have to depend upon the Nepal Electricity Authority. — Ramesh Kumar Yadav, shopkeeper, Gatthaghar, Bhaktapur

    Solar, bio-gas, wind and hydropower are some of the examples of renewable energy sources that are applicable in the context of Nepal. Though many people are focusing on solar energy, I think micro-hydro is the best option for Nepal. Because Nepal is very rich in the fast flowing rivers, electricity can be generated from hydropower. But huge investment is required for operating hydropower of a large scale. In comparison, micro-hydro requires lesser investment and if there is involvement of community, it also becomes sustainable as well. If such micro-hydros are set up in all the potential areas, a lot of energy need of the country can be addressed. Saroj Subba, student, Gorkha

    In the context of Nepal, bio-gas has been proven to be a successful technology in rural areas of Nepal. And I have heard that some people even in Kathmandu have made use of human waste to produce bio-gas. It would be better if the government could make policy to introduce bio-gas in the urban areas like Kathmandu from human waste. Also, it is said bio-gas can be produced out of degradable waste also. So, if bio-gas can be produced from such things, we would not need to queue up in long lines just to get a cylinder of LP gas. And this could be a long term solution as well. Radha Shrestha, housewife, Baneshwor

    Hydropower is one of the best forms of renewable energy in the context of Nepal. But I think instead of brining in policy to operate hydropower of large scales, it would be more practical to encourage the investment in micro-hydros at the local level. Our government usually depends upon donors to run such hydro power projects. But micro-hydros won’t require huge investment and they could be operated even on a small budget. As such they would be self-sustained as well. But it seems our government is not concerned in investing in such projects. Instead of making monetary donations to political parties, can’t our government make the policy that would encourage people to invest in such micro-hdyro projects that would benefit not only the local community but the entire nation? Meanwhile, in the places where it is not viable to operate micro-hydro projects, tapping the solar energy would be the best option. Dinesh Pokharel, businessman, Koteshwor

    Source : The Himalayan Times