Photo: Smriti Mallapaty/IRIN Fermenting organic matter to produce energy in Nepal with biogas plants
5 April 2013 (IRIN) - Nepal’s recently adopted policy of subsidizing renewable energy is the latest of many attempts to electrify long-deprived areas, but much more is needed, say experts.
More than half of the country’s households - almost all in urban and semi-urban areas - are connected to the national electricity grid. But 80 percent of the population is rural, and in these areas, less than one-third have electricity. With grid extension to the country’s hilly and mountainous areas prohibitively expensive, officials are looking to off-grid renewable alternatives.
“Renewable, off-grid energy solutions [are] the only realistic way to provide energy in parts of the country,” according to the government’s National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP), a five-year framework launched in 2012.
The new policy funds technologies sourced from hydropower, solar, biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by fermenting organic matter) and - for the first time - wind. The policy also seeks to use biomass, a traditional energy source, more efficiently. read more>>>