Friday, December 16, 2011

Accessibility to energy helps reduce poverty

Nawalparasi village gets first Wind-Solar hybrid renewal energy project in Asia

Improving energy accessibility helps reducing poverty, according to the experts."The pilot project that has been operational in Nepal from today will be replicated in five other countries," said director general of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Sultan Hafeez Rahman, during the wind-solar hybrid power inauguration here today.
Minister for Environment today inaugurated the 5kw-wind-solar hybrid power system in Dhaubadi of Nawalparasi, the first wind-solar hybrid power in Asia. “Some other VDCs are also under study for the new technology," Rahman said, adding that modern energy has the power to transform lives and communities, often in unexpected ways.
The wind-solar hybrid system was installed under ADB’s regional technical assistance (RETA) for Effective Development of Distributed Small Wind Power Systems in Asian Rural Areas for which the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) of Ministry of Environment is the implementing agency. The $3.8 million RETA will contribute to ADB’s 'Energy For All' initiative by increasing access to energy in remote rural areas that is expected to help reduce poverty."Energy fuels economic growth and poverty reduction," he said, "reliable and efficient energy services underpin the expansion of economic and employment opportunities, the continuing progress in social development, and the sustained improvement in standards of living.
"The project is based on ‘energy systems’ planning approach and has installed two sets of 5 kW wind turbines complimented by 2 kWp of solar PV panels to satisfy the village’s electricity demand of 43.6 KWh per day. It has also provided solar cookers, solar dryers and biogas systems to the villagers for extra income generation. Erecting greenhouses to absorb solar energy and manage water uses for high-value cash crop and vegetable production is also being planned which will augment income generation activities of the village community.
"Nepal’s chronic energy shortage, its abundant wind and solar resources, and most importantly the strong government commitment toward a low-carbon economy led ADB to select Nepal as the first pilot country for ADB’s small wind power initiative," ADB’s senior investment specialist Kangbin Zheng said, adding that the lessons learned in Nepal on the deployment of small wind power systems in rural areas will be very useful in scaling up the systems in Nepal and replicating in other ADB member countries.
"Nepal has more potential in the clean energy and the government is committed to develop and promote it, secretary at the Ministry of Environment Krishna Gyawali said.
The government is planning to update Rural Energy Policy making it more effective including the renewal energy, he said, adding that the Bill has been approved by the cabinet and soon the parliament will give its nod to make it an Act.

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