Nepal | September 22, 2020

Solar mini-grids improve life in Surkhet, Kailali and Baitadi

Umesh Poudel
Share Now:

Surkhet, July 3

Locals of Gutu village in Surkhet district have been able to set up businesses and upgrade their living standards after a solar mini-grid was installed here.

Among others, Amrit Acharya, who completed his plus-two this year, has set up a spices industry and poultry business. “I couldn’t have imagined my business ventures if not for the solar mini-grid,” beamed Acharya, adding he has been making a marginal profit.

Parbati Sapkota, owner of a tailoring centre in the same village, echoed similar sentiments.

In a bid to ensure sustainable and clean energy in villages that are yet to be connected to the national grid, the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) is gearing up to set up solar mini-grid systems across the nation.

According to Madhusudan Adhikari, executive director at AEPC, the centre is now mulling to replicate the project in other villages that are not connected to the national grid yet.

Stating that the solar power is a viable alternative energy source for providing reliable energy access to rural Nepal, he added, “We plan to implement the project in other villages, 90 per cent of which will be funded by ADB grant.”

AEPC is gearing up to instal solar mini-grid system with the support of ADB’s South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation Power System Expansion Project.

The locals contributed 10 per cent of installation cost of the 100-kilowatt-hour solar mini-grid system in Chaukune Rural Municipality of Gutu village, while AEPC covered the remaining 90 per cent through grant received from Asian Development Bank (ADB). The project that is benefitting 229 households cost Rs 500.5 million.

AEPC has also installed a 75-kilowatt-hour solar mini-grid system in Mohanyal Rural Municipality, Rainikot of Kailali district. The total project cost stood at Rs 365.4 million and it has directly benefitted 215 households.

Nawal Singh Rawal, chairperson of Mohanyal Rural Municipality of Kailali district, said the uninterrupted supply of electricity has enabled the locals to set up small businesses and generated jobs as well.

Similarly, a 30.7-kilowatt-hour solar mini-grid system has been installed in Purchaudi Municipality of Baitadi district. Altogether 110 households have directly benefitted from the project that cost Rs 196.8 million.

According to Rabindra Shah, associate project analyst at ADB, said the target is to ensure locals have access to clean energy for sustainable development.

The AEPC has arranged prepaid meters for billing in the solar mini-grid system. This means that consumers have to pay in advance the rate fixed by local electricity cooperatives. At present, the cooperatives have set the per unit charge of Rs 10 for households and Rs 25 for business users.

However, the locals are unhappy with the rate for electricity fixed by the cooperatives.

“It’s (the rate) too high,” said Pyaury Budha of Gutu village.

“The tariff should be revised so that everyone is able to afford to have their homes electrified.”

According to Kripa Ram Adhikari, chairman of Gutu Solar Mini-grid Users’ Committee, the electricity tariff will be revised based on the feedback from the users. “We also plan to bring special rates for those who are financially weak.”

A version of this article appears in print on July 04, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Photo Gallery: Rohingya refugees receive relief in Kapan amid COVID-19 crisis

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 21 Hiteri Foundation provided food relief packages to long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim refugees here in Kapan on Sunday, September 20. More than 175 families are taking shelter in Kapan after entering Nepal following a mass exodus from their native Myanamar. Also seen in pi Read More...

Melamchi Drinking Water Project to apply 'Tunnel Boring Machine' method

KATHMANDU: Preparation has begun to devise a new technology to excavate tunnel to bring Yangri and Larke rivulets water to Kathmandu under the second phase of the much-awaited Melamchi Drinking Water Project. The diversion tunnel was excavated by Drilling, Blasting and Mucking (DBM) technology to Read More...

In Pictures: Lalitpur school provides internet facility to students sans access

Lalitpur, September 21 Teachers take online classes with internet facility provided by school at the empty classroom of Shree Rudrayanee Secondary School in Khokana, Lalitpur on Monday, September 21, 2020. The School has facilitated internet access to those students who cannot avail the same at h Read More...

Nepal records highest death toll in single day, 427 covid fatalities till date

KATHMANDU: Nepal on Monday reported its highest number of deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day. As many as 16 Covid-19 fatalities were confirmed in the last 24 hours. It brings the total number of deaths in the country to nearly 427, according to data from Ministry of Health and Popu Read More...

A magnificent view of Kathmandu as captured from Swayambhu on Monday, May 9, 2016. Photo: RSS

674 more infections logged in Kathmandu valley, amounts to over 58pc of total new cases

KATHMANDU: Kathmandu valley on Monday logged 674 new cases of coronavirus infection. As per the Health Ministry's latest report, of the total cases, the capital recorded 538 cases while 62 new infections surfaced in Lalitpur. Meanwhile, the number of active infections have been increasing stea Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 1154 new cases, 1005 recoveries, 16 fatalities logged Monday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. Read Also: 674 more infections logged in Kathmandu valley, amounts to over 58pc of total new cases Read More...

Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap to pursue legal route against sexual misconduct allegations, actress Payal Ghosh to file FIR

KATHMANDU: Bollywood filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by budding actress Payal Ghosh, said he intends to pursue legal action while the actress has said she will file an FIR against him. Issuing a statement through his lawyer, Kashyap also said it was sad that a Read More...

Indian actress Richa Chadha initiates legal action after Payal Ghosh drags her name in #MeToo case against Anurag Kashyap

KATHMANDU: Bollywood actress Richa Chadha has revealed that she has initiated legal action against after her name was dragged in a defamatory in #MeToo case against filmmaker Anurag Kashyap by actress Payal Ghosh. In a video released to ABN Telugu, Ghosh claimed that Kashyap tried to harass her i Read More...