Kathmandu, July 18
Due to insufficient budget for the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) for the current fiscal year, the centre has said it will be unable to execute the targeted works in the stipulated timeframe.
AEPC, under the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWRI), has mentioned that the line ministry has allocated just Rs 200 million for electrification of areas not yet connected to the national grid in Province 2, Karnali Province and Sudur Paschim Province.
“Since the local levels have been allocated ample budget, we plan to coordinate with them for construction of various energy projects to electrify rural areas,” said Madhusudan Adhikari, executive director of AEPC, adding the budget allocated to the centre is not enough to carry out the works.
As per Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), nearly 20 per cent of households are yet to be connected to the national grid in the country. The government has been focusing on supplying electricity to those areas through AEPC’s programmes.
At present, AEPC has been setting up solar photovoltaic system, solar thermal system, biomass energy technology, wind energy, bio-fuel technology, and biogas technology and mini/micro hydro technology to provide renewable electricity in various areas across the country.
But due to insufficient budget for rural electrification, it is now uncertain whether the government will be able to fulfil its promise of electrifying every household within three years.
Nonetheless, the MoEWRI has allocated some budget for public-private partnership programmes to accelerate electrification in the rural areas through wind energy programme and solar roof-top system in coordination with general households and industrial users.
The government has allocated Rs 100 million for the wind energy programme and Rs 9.9 million for the solar roof-top programme.
AEPC is gearing up to set up wind turbines that will generate two megawatts of energy in Kailali district. As per AEPC, studies are being conducted to determine the possibility of carrying out the project and a detailed feasibility study will be carried out soon.
The Asian Development Bank has already conducted a feasibility study and said the project is possible.
A version of this article appears in print on July 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.