Focus On Clean Energy

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Clean energy such as hydro electricity, solar, wind and geothermal plants produce a negligible amount of greenhouse gases, and it mitigates our reliance on fossil fuels. This mode of energy is friendly for the environment. Reliance on fossil fuel-based energy production, coupled with the rising fuel and energy prices, has been placing an enormous burden on the climate and environment worldwide in general and South Asian region in particular. Nepal is making a steady stride in the hydropower sector and over 95 per cent of Nepal's population has now access to electricity. Power consumption has grown by 15 per cent annually, which shows that Nepal is gradually becoming self-reliant on electricity, mainly the hydropower, and it greatly helps in replacing fossil fuels with electricity and other clean energy sources. 


Extreme climate phenomena, caused by global warming, have become everyday occurrences in our modern world.  Excessive emissions of carbon based greenhouse gases has led to global warming and climate change. If the world focuses on producing clean energy and reducing the overreliance on fossil fuels, it will help reduce the amount greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and ultimately mitigate the temperature rise. It is the rise of temperatures worldwide that is causing an adverse change in weather and climatic patterns. So, in addition to generating more hydropower, there is also a need to build large-scale bio gas production plants in urban centers, and optimise the exploitation of solar and hydropower potential. 


In this context, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, speaking at a workshop on Energy Transition for Economic Prosperity jointly organised by Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) and Renewable World (RW), stressed that Nepal's primary focus was to generate around 28,000 MW of power in the next 12 years, with a significant emphasis on hydropower and other renewable sources. Nepal is continually upgrading its electricity infrastructures like transmission and distribution substation electricity substations. It has huge hydropower potential and it is one of the prime sectors which can earn foreign currency by exporting excess electricity. This can open the door for development and prosperity. 


Nepal has been spending over Rs. 350 billion annually to import petroleum products. If the country substitutes the import of cooking gas with electricity and prioritise electric vehicles, a huge sum of money being spent to purchase them could be saved. The government should focus on increasing the use of electricity in agriculture, industries, cooking and transportation sectors. Renewable energy has the potential to create numerous job opportunities, foster innovation, and drive economic growth, contributing to a sustainable and green economy. Initially, the cost of installing renewable energy systems are often higher than that of fossil fuels but in the long run, they are sustainable and healthy for the planet.  


Nepal has pledged to attain a net-zero emission by 2045 and increase the share of clean energy in total energy demand to 15 per cent and forest cover to 45 per cent by 2030. The construction of electricity infrastructure like a 400KV substation in Inaruwa is expected to help in selling electricity to the neighbouring countries. Nepal’s progress in the energy sector shows that it will not only be self-reliant in meeting domestic energy needs but also emerge as a key player in the regional energy trade as it has already finalised a power trade agreement with India, which has agreed to buy 10,000 MW of electricity from Nepal in next ten years.

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