Global Warming Impacts in South Asian Regions

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[1]. 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

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Proposed Power Agreement between Nepal and India

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.
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Future of Nepal’s Electricity: long-term policy suggestions

Main points

  • 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.

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CA Election of Nepal: Are parties’ energy sector promises feasible?

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.

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Energy Efficiency as an Energy Resource for Nepal

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?

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Alaska’s rural electricity system and lessons for Nepal

Last week, I got an opportunity to learn about Alaska Village Electric Cooperative (AVEC) during the annual conference of US Association of Energy Economics (USAEE) in Anchorage, Alaska. AVEC is a non-profit electric utility that provides stable electricity to 55 Alaskan villages with the help of distributed generation and local grid connection. There are similarities, in terms of geographic variations and dispersed population, between Alaskan villages and Nepal’s rural parts. AVEC has been successful in providing electricity to its villages, whereas most of the rural parts on Nepal are still deprived of electricity. In this situation, is there anything that Nepal can learn from AVEC? This post highlights the works of AVEC and the ways that Nepal can learn from them.
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Funds for Nepal’s Energy Sector in Annual Budget of 2013

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.

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