Will fuel price hike promote electricity use?

Himalayan News Service

Kathamndu, January 13:

At a time when the nation is vehemently protesting the price hike in petroleum products, environmentalists are hopeful that this will encourage people to use more electricity.

Clean Energy Nepal, a nongovernmental organisation working in the field of environment, has taken the recent price hike in petroleum products as an opportunity to accelerate consumption of electricity.

“The price hike will help increase the demand for electric vehicles in Kathmandu which will result in cleaner air and better health for us all,” a press release issued here today stated. According to CEN, Nepal does not produce petroleum and it is a pollutant and diesel exhaust is a known carcinogen. “Yet we continue to spend our precious foreign reserves in importing increasing amount of dirty fuel while our own energy resources which are also clean and renewable, remain underutilised,” the statement stated.

It added that the increase in petroleum prices will level the playing field to a certain extent and increase demand for clean domestic fuel. “Only nine per cent of the total energy consumed in the country is supplied by petroleum products and 77 per cent of Nepali households use bio-mass fuel such as fuel wood and dung for cooking, which means the majority of the poor people in the country are not really benefiting from low petroleum prices.” The statement further urged the Nepal Oil Corporation to become more transparent and take concrete steps to reduce overhead cost and supply high quality fuel.