Keywords: electrification, renewable energy, rural, micro-hydro, solar power, solar energy, photovoltaic, Nepal, alternative energy
Rural electrification through renewable energy in Nepal
Nepal is rich in hydropower. However, due to various constraints the rural sector of Nepal is still deprived of a national electrical grid. Renewable energy resources are the most viable and accessible sources to electrify these rural sectors. Micro-hydro and solar photovoltaics (PV) are widely used renewable energies for rural electrification. Presently, this source provides electricity to only 7% of the rural population. The 10th Five-Year Plan sets a target of generating electricity equivalent to 10 MW from micro-hydro schemes and access to off-grid electrification for 12% of the then population. Different government organisations, non-government organisations, international non-government organisations and private institutions are involved in enhancing this sector. The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Energy Sector Assistance Programme-DANIDA and Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP/UNDP) can be regarded as the apex institutions for the support of this sector.