Programme launched to light villages nationwide

Lalitpur, June 11:

The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) has launched the second phase of the Energy Sector Assistance Programme (ESAP) to promote the use of alternative energy in the rural areas of the country.

The phase II programme will wrap up in 2011. The programme focuses on the solar energy support programme, biomass support programme and micro-hydro projects. The programme looks after the rural energy investment and institutional strengthening of the rural energy sector.

“The programme aims to improve the living condition of the rural population by facilitating people’s access to energy technology,” said Madhusudhan Adhikari, solar component manager of the ESAP. It basically focuses on the better performance in terms of the productivity, versatility and environmental impact, he added.

The programme has set a target to establish 1.5 lakh Solar Home Systems (SHS) and 2.5 lakh small SHS in all districts of the country except Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. It has targeted to make electricity accessible to 1.5 lakh households through the launch of micro hydro projects and provide improved stoves to 5 lakh households.

Adhikari said the programme will be handled by the public and private sector partners.

The main objective of the programme is to increase access of rural population to energy, Adhikary said, adding, “Because only 38 per cent of the people of the country have access to electricity till now and the deprived population may not have excess to electricity even in the next 20 years.”

The programme will discourage the massive use of fossil fuel and help develop environment-friendly technologies, he said.

The first phase of the ESAP started in 1999 with the assistance if the Danish government. Norway joined in the first phase in 2003 and the programme lasted till 2004. The ESAP phase II, being supported by Norway, Denmark and the government of Nepal, has a budget Euro 53.6 million.