In 1996 the Government of Nepal established the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC). APEC works to promote and develop solar energy, micro-hydro, biogas, improved water mills, bio-fuel & improved cook stoves and is the pioneer of Nepal's alternative / renewable energy sector.
The availability of alternative and renewable energy is directly linked to the living conditions of rural populations which has inspired support for this sector from abroad.
Denmark was the first country to support Nepal in its endeavour to alleviate poverty through the development of alternative, renewable energy in rural areas. It signed an agreement with Nepal for the implementation of the Energy Sector Assistance Programme (ESAP Phase 1) on 26th March 1999.
The objective of Phase I was to improve the living conditions of rural populations in Nepal by increasing access to effective and appropriate energy technologies. Despite the fact that Nepal was going through an armed insurgency during the first phase of the programme, it made remarkable progress towards achieving this.
The original DANIDA fund made available for ESAP Phase 1 was 154 million DKK. During the course of implementation, it became clear that additional funding was needed. This was provided by DANIDA, Norway and the Government of Nepal.
Phase 1 Achievements
- National Subsidy Policy established.
- Rural Energy Fund set up.
- An established and active body of stakeholders.
- Effective dissemination of renewable energy technologies to the rural poor.
- Improved lifestyles in communities using alternative energy products.
- Quality products developed and produced.
- Networks set up for NGO, CBO and private sector players.
- New jobs created in rural/renewable energy.
- AEPC staff training programs completed.
- Solar Energy Test Station (SETS) established in rural areas.
- Renewable Energy Test Stations set up.
- Bank financing for renewable energy projects secured.
- Nepal Interim Photovoltaic Quality Assurance (NIPQA) implemented effectively.
- AEPC logistics & communication systems overhauled and upgraded.