Success of SE4All…

Success of SE4All also depends on result oriented actions

Planning for Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) in Nepal’s context was discussed in a recently held workshop in the capital. Roles of government, private sector and civil society organisation are elaborated as influential stakeholders. All three should activate each other like the gears in connection in a movement mechanism. The synergy generated out of the activation will bring desired fruit of SE4All, experts mentioned.

Practical Action South Asia and Centre for Rural Technology Nepal organised event was successful in readying the stakeholders for the plan for SE4All in Nepal to make a success. National Planning Commission has been coordinating the action plan through a high level coordination body with representatives from different organisations.

sl4SE4ALL is a global initiative led by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to achieve universal energy access, improve energy efficiency, and increase the use of renewable energy. It was launched to coincide with the designation of 2012 as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the UN General Assembly in December 2010. This was in recognition of the growing importance of energy for economic development and climate change mitigation. It also attempted to correct what many working on energy and development issues had for many years argued was a major error in not including action on energy poverty in the Millennium Development Goals.

Ban Ki-moon made sustainable energy one of the five priorities that would guide his second five-year term. In June 2009 he established the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC), which published its final report on 28 April 2010. The recommendations from this report form the basis of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched in 2011.

The Sustainable Energy for All initiative is intended to attract global attention and public and private commitments to meeting three objectives by 2030 are, ensuring universal access to modern energy services, doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency and doubling the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

In Nepal, alternative energy has been one active component aimed to deliver simple technologies to people living in rural areas – remote or easy accessed.

Access to the technologies to the all needy people is a complex process. The government is utilising its own fund and receiving external financial and technical supports for the purpose. Technical and financial support has been delivered for promotion of alternative energy technologies through Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, a dedicated government agency under the Ministry of Population and Environment (previously Ministry of Environment and Science & Technology was responsible).

Improved cook stoves, Bio-gas, micro-hydro systems have been installed in the villages to address their energy needs. These technologies have created better living conditions of the people. Solar power systems are mostly used for lightings. Authentic sources say that nearly 35 MW of power has been generated so far by solar power systems including large size solar pvs, institutional pv plants and domestic sloar pv systems in the country. Solar home systems and solar institutional systems also have substantially aided power to the people of same category.

Besides lighting solar power system is also contributing in powering computers and charging mobile phone batteries. In some places pumping water for irrigation and operating telecom systems are power by solar power systems. The drive is moving towards Mega Watt solar power systems to tackle dry season power draught. Solar Thermal systems also play a crucial role in minimizing use of electricity from national grid as well as reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels.

Some 500,000 ICSs are installed so far. ICSs are efficient in consuming less firewood than traditional stoves. Smokeless indoor environment is another benefit of ICSs to improve health condition.

Bio-gas systems has contributed significantly to the environment as it saves firewood, smokeless indoors, produces high-nitrogen slurry to use as better fertilisers. Reports say that 350,000 domestic biogas plants also have been installed.

Likewise, around 3,300 micro hydro plants in hills and mountain districts have been installed to produce around 40 MW of electricity. Micro hydro bears a bit different in technology. Civil structures, mechanical equipments and electrical equipment and instruments, transmission and distribution involves in it. Nepal’s technical expertise are efficient in producing all required equipment, instruments and installation jobs and have been successful to establish around 3,200 plant (all below 100 kW and 40 kW in average in the category of above 10 kW to 100 kW)) in around 25 years.

The ICSs, bio-gas and solar power system are of mostly owned by single family, their sustainability has been responsibility of the owners. Micro hydro bears different characteristics as almost all micro hydro plants are owned by community as users committee. Cost to operate and repair and maintenance have been a problem to many users committees. Actually, the problems should be addressed only by earning more for the users committees by using the power generated to use in other than lighting. Therefore, more emphasis is needed for promotion of end-uses. The managers and operators of plants must be imparted with better knowledge in this regards.

Electrical power for small industrial uses has been a common practice at some one third of the places. But the need of the hour is to impart knowledge to use the power generated to produce things which is consumed in the same villages and surround locations. Some feasible end-uses thought by the experts may be implemented as pilot project for experiments and prove viability. The end-uses planned should be able to create opportunities for the plant to earn more, employment to a few in making and marketing and use easy and environment friendly materials. Consequently, sustainability will ascend as desired.

Those micro hydro plants now are considered matured and needed to be rehabilitated due to earthquake and other natural reasons may be replaced by higher capacity equipments so as people can get more power per household even enough to cook using simple electrical appliance. This will bring wider sustainability.

The success of the plan for SE4All also depends on focus on such small but result oriented actions aimed at sustainability. The traditional pattern of generating energy for domestic uses should be replaced by modern but affordable technologies so as less harm will cause to environment, creating less smoke for better health condition, minimise drudgery to women and girls and income generating opportunities for the communities.  (15 March, 2016)






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