Global warming is the gradual rise in earth’s surface temperature due to the effect of greenhouse gases released from burning fossil fuels and deforestation. Over the period of 1880-2012, the combined land-ocean temperature increased by 0.85° Celsius. Global average temperature is expected to rise between 1.4 – 5.8°C in the next 100 years.
A recent report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirmed that human activities are ‘dominant cause’ of global warming since 1950s (IPCC, 2014).The climate change alters hydrological systems through precipitation change or melting of snow or ice and affects the quantity of available water, seasonal activities, and migration patterns.
In this post, I focus on global warming’s consequences in South Asian regions and the imminent need to collaborate to identify and reduce climate change related risks.
Serious Consequences of Global Warming
There are a lot of ongoing discussions on the proposed power agreement between Governments of Nepal and India. With Nepal’s untapped hydropower resources, India’s power need, and recent changes in Indian politics, the discussions for power treaty is again back on the table. I was lucky enough to get a copy of the draft of the agreement. In this post, I discuss the important points of the agreement and few areas that need clarification.
Both countries realize the importance of meeting electricity demand for socio-economic development and the progress of people. The agreement aims to facilitate cooperation in the fields of power generation, power transfer, grid connectivity, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and power related consulting and research services. More importantly, both countries are emphasizing the importance of developing additional hydropower potential by cooperating in the construction and operation of hydropower.
- Electricity supply and demand varies at different time intervals
- Electricity supply side is heavily based on renewable sources increasing the challenges of creating reliable electricity system
- Demand side management programs, storage systems, trade agreements with India can be some of the long-term solutions
Let’s start with few questions: What determines the supply and demand of electricity? Does the demand remain same throughout the year? What about the supply? Is it possible, technically and economically, to generate electricity as required to serve the load? These are few questions to consider before thinking about developing a reliable and adequate electric system.
In this post, I discuss issues that Nepal’s electricity sector may face in future. One of the previous posts discusses the short-term solutions of current power shortage problems. Moreover, the recent post talks about electricity sector’s possible issues in the future.
The second Constitution Assembly (CA) election in Nepal is scheduled for Nov 19, 2013 due to the inability to draft a constitution after the first election. What are the election manifestos of the parties? Even though parties are used to making lofty promises during election campaign and not fulfilling most of them after, the manifesto indicates the parties’ future direction. Let’s discuss and compare major political parties’ election manifestos regarding Nepal’s energy and environmental sectors.
Almost all major parties have announced unrealistic plans claiming to eliminate current power shortage problems between 3 – 5 years. The manifestos give priority to the country’s hydropower sector and also aim to exploit renewable sources to increase electricity generating capacity.
Looking at the current power-crisis of Nepal, it is even hard to make future energy plans without addressing present power shortage problems. However, I believe that it’s a high time that we have a long-term electricity plan by keeping the future demand growth in mind.
Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) estimates that the electricity demand will increase steadily at the average annual growth of 9 % and peak demand will increase by 8.85% in the same period. Energy (kWh or MWh or GWh) is the total hourly electricity demand summed for each year year, whereas system peak load (kW or MW or GW) is the maximum amount of electricity demanded at any given time of the year. For the smooth supply of electricity, the utility company (NEA) has to be able to meet both total annual electricity demand and also be able to handle the peak load demand.
Guest Author: Achyut Shrestha
In the long run, Nepal may overcome the present power crisis with the help of largely untapped natural resources – hydro power potential up to 83 GWh (Shrestha, 1968) and significant potential from wind and solar energy (Upreti et al). However, it is imperative that we also try to seek immediate solutions to mitigate the energy shortage. Energy efficiency (EE) provides an opportunity to reduce power shortages in the short run.
What is Energy Efficiency?
Nepal Government announced the annual budget of Rs. 517.24 billion for the fiscal year 2013/14. Government allocated Rs 30 billion of energy related projects mainly for electricity generation, construction of transmission and distribution lines. This is almost 6 percent of the total announced budget. Other notable allocation are in agriculture (Rs 21.40 billion), education (Rs 80.95 billion), physical infrastructure (Rs 35.27 billion), and health (Rs 30.43 billion). Please note that $1 = Rs 95.
What are government plans in the energy sector?
Government plans to start construction of 140 MW pumped storage hydropower plant in Tanahu from next year and has issued Rs 1.05 billion for this purpose. Similarly, Rs 4.66 billion will be used to complete the construction of 60 MW Trishuli A, 42 MW upper Modi, 32 MW Rahughat, 30 MW Chameliyagadh, and 14 MW Kulekhani hydropower projects.