According to a recent report by the Asian Development Bank, Nepal needs to switch fast to cleaner technologies if it wants to meet its energy demands.
Nepal’s ability to meet its future power needs and to curb a rapid rise in greenhouse gas emissions will hinge on the rollout of clean energy technologies which are highly cost effective in the run, according to a study of Asian Development Bank.
Making public the study titled ‘Economics of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in South Asia’, climate change specialist Mahfuj Ahmed today said, “Replacing 50 per cent of all kerosene lamps with solar powered lighting would result in a substantial reduction in emissions for relatively low cost.”
It also improves the quality of lighting and reduces exposure to indoor smoke which causes respiratory problems, added Ahmed, who is the chief climate change specialist with ADB’s South Asia Department.
Though Nepal’s total greenhouse gas output remains small compared to most of its South Asian neighbours, emissions from energy-using activities over the past 15 years has been the quickest in the region due to rising oil consumption in the transport sector, the study said.
Ram Manohar Shrestha, a member of the study team, suggested to look for an alternative energy option to decrease the dependency on fossil fuel.
“The government should discourage fossil fuel consumption and promote electric vehicles,” added Shrestha, also the professor of Thailand-based Asian Institute of Technology and Management.
Without a change in current energy use patterns, Nepal’s emissions are set to rise from around 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2005, to over 13.5 million tons in 2030, with transport sector accounting for the bulk, the study revealed.
By adopting clean energy options for minimal cost will trim an estimated 345,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2020 alone, the report said. The study further suggested increased use of electric stoves and heaters, more efficient industrial boilers, and use of hybrid cars and electric buses to replace vehicles fuelled by gasoline and diesel.
Despite minimal investment of the private sector in renewable energy in Nepal, ADB and its development partners are actively supporting the adoption of clean power technologies and providing a mechanism for few investors to enter the sector.
ADB is also analysing the feasibility of introducing electric buses in Nepal to meet fast-growing urban demand for new services. The government aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the total supply mix from less than 1 per cent to 10 per cent, and increase access to alternative energy sources from 10 per cent to 30 per cent.
SOURCE: Himalayan News Service