With a score of 0.39 out of one, the country ranked at the bottom — at 101st out of 105 countries — in the Global Energy Architecture Performance Index 2013 published by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
Despite caretaker prime minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai's tall claims of reducing load-shedding hours, the country is reeling under acute power shortage of 10 hours per day that has bled the industries blue. "Industries are underutilising their production capacity," according to the central bank's report that has revealed that industries are utilising only 58 per cent of their capacity, largely due to the chronic power shortage.
The contribution of the industrial sector has dropped drastically to under six per cent to gross domestic product (GDP).
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected the country's growth rate at 3.8 per cent for the current fiscal year due to increasing power cuts, erratic rainfall, and the government's inability to provide fertilisers during the harvesting season.
The Global Energy Architecture Performance Index is composed of three sub-indices — economic growth and development, environment sustainability, and energy access and security.
The country ranked 89 — among 105 countries — in economic growth and development that is measured on the basis of energy intensity, cost of energy imports, share of mineral products in export, and a combination of GDP per capita and Human Development Index (HDI).
Likewise, Nepal ranked 13 in environment sustainability that is measured through carbon intensity of energy use, share of non-carbon energy sources in the energy mix, levels of outdoor air pollution, and water scarcity, whereas the country ranked at the bottom at 103 in energy access and security that is measured on the basis of import dependence, diversity of supply, quality of electricity supply and access to modern forms of energy.
The index benchmarks and ranks 105 countries globally on how well their energy system delivers economic growth and development, environmental sustainability, and energy security and access.
In a changing global energy landscape, countries are seeking ways to manage the transition to new energy systems that better deliver on these core goals. The index offers a tool for decision makers to monitor the performance of their energy system and a basis for assessing areas to improve on.
The index revealed the poor state of energy security and access in the country. It has further reinforced the argument that the country needs to urgently ramp up investments in energy generation, basically in large hydropower projects to achieve faster and inclusive economic growth and a competitive economic base.
The country is claimed to have huge hydropower potential that would fuel economic growth by supporting industrialisation and generating huge employment. Demand for energy has been increasing at 12 per cent every year, but it has been able to generate around 700 MW only against a demand of 1,200 MW in the dry season.Nepal ranks at the bottom five with Mozambique (102), Lebanon (103), Tanzania (104) and Ethiopia (105), according to the index that has listed Norway, Sweden, France, Switzerland and New Zealand as the top five.