Can Solar Energy be a viable alternative for electricity generation in Nepal?
“The sun bathes the earth in a steady, enormous flow of radiant energy that far exceeds what the world requires for electricity fuel.” The last decade has been harsh enough for the people of Nepal. The power cut being hiked up to 16 hours a day in 2009 provides testimony to the fact that Nepal has been hard hit by energy crisis. Given the over-increasing population, along with rapid industrialization and urbanization, the demand of electricity continues to mount, especially in urban and commercial areas. The nation, however, has not been able to supply enough to meet its demand. This year itself the power cut roared up to 80 hours a week. The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) concedes that severity of load shedding will not diminish in the short term (refer to “Bartaman Load Shedding Lai Tat Kaal Samadhan Garni Upaya Haru Ko Sammandha Ma Sabai Pakchya Haru Ko Adhyan Gari Sujav Dina Jal Shrot Mantralaya Ko Nirnaya Anusar Gathit Samiti le Pesh Gare Ko Pratibedhan report originally available at - www.nea.org.np) Electricity is a prerequisite for any economic activity. Absence of electricity extensively hampers the overall productivity of an economy- households, businesses, enterprises, industries, communications, industries, education, service sector et cetera. Due to acute power crunch, cost of production of industries is going up, cost competitiveness of Nepalese products is decreasing, industries are closing down, production is being winded down, a shortfall in domestic production is leading to an increase in imports of even the most basic goods and services (contributing to widening trade deficit), and future growth potential is being severely crippled. Nepal’s electricity generation has been dominated by hydropower. Despite Nepal’s huge hydropower potential, approximately 40,000 MW of economically feasible hydropower potential, it has not been able to utilize even 1/40th of it. The...
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