Wind, solar and hydro powershould be a good energy mix to tackle current energy crisis
The experts today claimed that up to 10 per cent of the energy mix in Nepal could be covered by wind energy, whereas others claimed 80 per cent could be covered by hydro and 20 per cent by solar.
During an interaction econ-ity, organised by Samriddhi, The Prosperity Foundation, along with Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on 'Energy Mix to Power Nepal,' here today Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) executive director Prof Dr Govind Raj Pokharel locally generated solar power should be shared through local grid.
Proposing identification of three sectors on the demand side as the energy mix would look different in each category, he stressed on industrial sector – where use of diesel, thermal and hydro sources could be prime – domestic sector – for heating, cooking and lighting purposes and transportation.
The use of ethanol due to vibrant sugarcane industry in Nepal is also possible, he said, sharing a very good example from Baglung’s Riga VDC where people had contributed 533 days per household to construct a 100 kW micro hydro plant with a cost of Rs 4.8 million and then paid Rs 18 per unit for the usage of electricity. "They have now paid off their loans and have Rs 1 million in the bank as savings."
Likewise, president of Independent Power Producers Association, Nepal (IPPAN) Dr Subarna Das Shrestha, on the occasion sought decentralised production, incentivised by net metering.
"In the context of energy mix, hydropower is the main source for industrial and commercial use and the contribution of other sources could be mainly for household consumption," he said, adding that therefore 80 per cent of the energy mix could be covered by hydropower. "In terms of energy mix, while production could be decentralised by means of implementing the mentioned sources, it could be incentivised by the usage of net-metering."
Net metering is a service to an electric consumer under which electric energy generated by that electric consumer from an eligible on-site generating facility and delivered to the local distribution facilities may be used to offset electric energy provided by the electric utility to the electric consumer during the applicable billing period.
In a sector with only a brief history of private sector involvement, the current Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) structure and policy environment is not very encouraging for investment in hydropower, Shrestha said, sharing that more than 10 ministries are involved in the process of developing and implementing a hydropower project, including the same number of departments. In the 5 years feasibility study period provisioned, most of the time is taken by licensing and the environment impact study takes around one and half year. "The process of receiving permissions to cut trees in the construction areas takes the developers to the cabinet, thereby further lengthening the process, apart from policy inconsistency and bureaucratic bottlenecks that have created real challenges for investors.
The discussion moderated by social entrepreneur Anil Chitrakar also discussed on energy crisis and possible solution.