Monday, June 3, 2019

95.5 per cent of Nepalis have an electricity connection : Energy Progress Report

Electricity had reached some 95.5 per cent of Nepali populace as of 2017, according to the Energy Progress Report. “Only 1.3 million out of 29 million Nepalis remain to be connected to an electricity supply,” it reads, adding that in 2010, only 65 per cent of Nepali populace had an electricity connection. “Nepal is expected to achieve 100 per cent access to electricity within a few years, well ahead of the target year of 2030 set by Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7).
Nepal’s access to electricity increased at an annual rate of 4.3 per cent, which is much higher than the global average of 0.8 per cent, according to the Energy Progress Report released last week by the five Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) stakeholders including International Energy Agency (IEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), World Bank (WB) and World Health Organisation (WHO).
The report further reads that the global electrification rate rose by 6 per cent to 89 per cent in 2017 from 83 per cent in 2010, falling short of the target rate required to reach universal access by 2030.
Over the review period, some 99 per cent of Nepal’s urban population enjoyed access to electricity and 95 per cent of rural people are currently connected with a mix of grid and off-grid systems. Universal access to clean cooking solutions will help to prevent some 3.8 million premature deaths each year, primarily among women and children, from exposure to household air pollution, the report adds.
Nepal ranks top among the set of access-deficit countries – including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Mongolia  -- which provide their populations with access to electricity from off-grid sources. “Around 11 per cent of Nepali population is reliant on mini-biogas, mini-hydropower plants, and solar mini-grids for energy consumption,” it reads.
Likewise, Nepal ranks third among the top 20 countries with the highest share of solar lighting progress with 15 per cent of the population obtaining power through solar grids. According the report, Nepal’s rural electrification schemes and increasing use of small solar panels for lighting in remote areas has contributed to the increased access to electricity. “The campaign to rid rural households of firewood and provide clean energy through mainly solar and small scale hydel plants by 2022 has been effectively meeting its annual targets,” said Ram Prasad Dhital, former executive director of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre,” it adds.
However, energy minister Barsha Man Pun recently reiterated the government’s plan to provide access to energy to 100 percent of the population in the next five years. “In five years, we intend to provide access to 100 per cent of the population through a mix of grid, According to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), only eight districts – Bajura, Humla, Jumla, Kalikot, Mugu, Dolpa, Rukum (East) and Solukhumbu – remain to be connected to the national grid. Bajura, Rukum (East) and Solukhumbu will be connected to the national grid by the end of this fiscal year.
The Energy Progress Report also claimed that between 2018 and 2030, the annual average investment will need to reach approximately $55 billion to expand energy access, about $700 billion to increase renewable energy, and $600 billion to improve energy efficiency.

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