Nepal fights power cuts with renewable energy

Kathmandu: Touted as the country's biggest, a hybrid power generation system which uses solar and wind energy has been inaugurated in western Nepal to help residents facing acute shortage of electricity.

Environment Minister Hem Raj Tated inaugurated the wind-solar energy centre at Hurhure Danda area of Nawalparasi district which will benefit 46 families living there.

With this, Nepal has become the first country to benefit from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) initiative of encouraging clean and renewable energy.

"Now, locals of Hurhure Danda can watch television and use computers," Narayan Prasad Chaulagain, Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Board (AEPB), said.

The wind system uses two large-sized fans which generate 10 KW of electricity, while a solar system installed close by generates an additional 2 KW, he said.

The 12 KW will be sufficient to provide electricity to the whole village, he said.

The system was installed under ADB's regional technical assistance (RETA) for Effective Development of Distributed Small Wind Power Systems in Asian Rural Areas. The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre under the Ministry of Environment is the implementing agency of the project that cost USD 3.8 million.

With the onset of winters, residents of Kathmandu and other major cities are facing load shedding up to 8 hours daily because of the low water level in major power generating rivers.