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.
The hydropower business is booming in Nepal, mainly due to massive untapped resources and huge power shortages. The data from Department of Electricity Development (accessed July 2013) shows that it has issued Survey License to 674 projects totaling 20,756 MW in capacity. Whereas, 59 projects of 1357 MW capacity have obtained Construction License. Please see the table at the end of the post for detailed information. With the limited transmission capacity and lack of India-Nepal intercountry grid connection, will all these projects get built? I doubt. Then, how do you choose the right project to invest? This post discusses few points to consider in analyzing the project and intends to help potential investors choose the right one.
Things to Consider
The following paragraph considers few questions to consider while choosing hydro projects to invest.
Road: Is there road access to the project location? If not, how far is it from the highway? How much road construction is necessary? How much does it cost?
- 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.
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?
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.
Update (07/02/2013): Thank you for your interest. The application for this position is closed. Please check back later for any openings.
A newly created energy company is seeking a dynamic candidate for a part-time position of Research Analyst to work on Nepal’s energy sector. The work involves providing analytical and technical support on renewable technologies and energy policies in Nepal. The position will be available in Nepal and will be home based. Applicants should have access to a personal computer and reliable internet connection.