Alternate Energy Sector
Decentralized new and renewable energy systems such as micro hydro, solar photo voltaic, biogas, improved cooking stove, wind etc provide feasible and environment friendly energy supply options, especially in rural areas of Nepal.
The most important renewable energy technology in Nepal is related to Pico and Micro Hydropower, Biomass energy (biogas, briquettes, gasifiers etc.), Solar Photovoltaic (solar home systems, solar PV water pumping, solar battery charging), Solar Thermal Energy (solar water heater, solar dryer, solar cookers etc).
Micro hydropower is an indigenous and renewable source of energy for which the potential exists in almost the whole Himalayan Region. Hydropower plant of less than 100 kW capacity is generally categorized as micro-hydro. Plants in the 1–100 kW range generally supply power through a mini-grid to a rural community. Micro-hydro can provide electricity to rural communities which otherwise might take years to be served by national electricity services. The target sites for micro-hydro systems are isolated areas, which are not connected to the national grid and the target beneficiaries are rural people residing at a considerable distance away from transmission lines and distribution networks.
The history of waterpower in Nepal began with the traditional water mills used for grinding flour. Turbine for milling purpose accounts for more than 50 percent of the micro-hydro systems in Nepal at present. These systems are used to run a range of agro-processing machines such as rice huller, grinder, oil expeller and other end-use applications. For electrification purpose, a small generator is added to the existing turbine mill to provide electric lighting to the communities close to the powerhouse. This improvement to the traditional water mill is called multi-purpose power unit. A turbine installation that is established primarily to produce electricity and to serve agro-processing activities only as a secondary function is called a stand-alone micro-hydro power plant. A total of 2496 of such dual purpose micro-hydro sets have been installed in 40 districts in the country generating a total of 17.03 MW.
Solar energy has been used traditionally for drying such things as crops, clothes, fuel wood, and crop residues. The solar energy potential in Nepal is estimated to be about 26 million MW. Currently there are two types of solar energy technology in the country: solar thermal systems and solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Biogas is considered to be one of the most promising and sustainable sources of renewable energy in Nepal. At present most biogas plants are in the Terai (the flat lands of Nepal), but they are gaining popularity in the hill regions as well. The mountain region is considered unfavourable for biogas production because of the cold climate.
It is estimated that there is potential of 1.3 million household biogas plants in the country. It is also estimated that annually biogas plants in Nepal save 239,386 tonnes of firewood, and replace 3,830,000 litres of Kerosene every year.
The current state of development of biogas in Nepal is largely the result of incentives provided by Government of Nepal. A plan for the installation of biogas plants was first incorporated in the Seventh Five Year Plan (1985 90). During this plan period both capital and interest subsidies for the biogas programme were introduced by the government.
This technology is still in its initial experiment phase. Though the country has a high potential for wind energy, the formal data on the availability on wind across the country is largely unavailable.
The data presented in this page has been compiled from different credible sources and mainly from the Internet. However, JLTBCL does not authenticate these data, or present the facts and figures mentioned in this page as its own view. Thus, the facts and figures presented herein should be used as a general indicator only, and the discretion of the patron is warranted in their use.