Without the abundant access of energy, development takes the back seat. And, long term sustainable development is not possible without the development of sustainable energy technologies. In spite of having huge hydro energy potential, Nepal faces severe energy crisis leading to long hours of power cuts which have stalled the economy at large. Today, the bitter reality in a country is that our industries, businesses and households are heavily relying on fossil fuels as alternative energy sources while in the other hand we have multiple renewable energy options that are either underutilized or are often overlooked. At the same time, Nepal also confronts the challenges of poverty, issues of gender and social inclusion and issues of climate change all at the same time. Promotion of renewable energy technologies has been one of the indispensible tools to overcome these challenges. Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), since its very establishment has been promoting sustainable energy solutions to off-grid rural households and communities in Nepal who primarily lack electricity to light their homes or burning polluting fuels either for their lighting or cooking needs or to run their local enterprises and businesses. More recently, AEPC has also been promoting solar options to urban areas in an effort to lessen the burden of energy demand from the grid electricity.
Government of Nepal has also recently come up with “Clean Cooking and Lighting Solutions for All” by 2017, which now requires an improved dialogue and discussions between academia, public, private sector, civil society and development partners alike. As the Executive Director of AEPC, I assure that Alternative Energy Promotion Centre continues to offer its knowledge, expertise and commitment to take new steps towards the more sustained growth of renewable energy sector in Nepal. Diffusion and development of renewable energy sector to the level expected to contribute both to meet the energy demand in the country while also contributing to nation economy is however unlikely to happen without all of us working together and taking the initiatives from every front.
Ram Prasad Dhital