Experts stress for Public-private partnerships to promote clean energy

Kathmandu: Experts of a conference stated that scaling-up mini-grids through public-private partnerships is critical to achieving universal access to modern energy services.

Participants of an international workshop jointly organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Alternative Energy Promotion Centre Nepal stated that public private partnership could be a good model for resolving the current power crisis and developing clean energy.

A mini-grid is a small electricity network that uses sources such as hydro, solar and wind to generate enough power to provide a cluster of towns and villages with reliable supply of electricity that meets local demand.

The two-day workshop on Sharing Business Models and Scaling up Mini Grids in Asia and the Pacific ended with a session by the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment (MoSTE) Keshab Man Shakya, who closed the event after 150 participants shared perspectives from energy enterprises, investors and development partners on how to scale up successful business models through public private partnerships, said ADB.

“Nepal’s population is dispersed across a wide and difficult to reach terrain where it is technically and financially difficult to extend the national grid. Mini-grids are an important solution to bringing energy to more communities in this country,” said secretary of the MoSTE Keshab Prasad Bhattarai.

“Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) has launched National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme from July 2012 and it will seek to scale up the renewable energy technologies based on the key learnings from this two days workshop, ” said executive director of AEPC Govind Raj Pokharel.

During the workshop, AEPC shared experiences of a recently-developed mini-grid system in Baglung district in Nepal which provides electricity to 1,200 households from 6 microhydro sites generating a total of 107 kW.

Some 37 percent of rural population in Nepal still has no access to electricity while across the Asia-Pacific region, nearly 700 million people have no access to electricity

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