KATHMANDU, Jan 20: As a result of power shortage, the industrial sector in the country is incurring a monthly loss of over Rs 5 billion. But experts say the industries could get a fresh lease of life if the accumulated loss of five months is invested in alternative energy solutions.
Talking to Republica at the two-day-long renewable energy exhibition at Bhrikutimandap on Sunday Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) Dr Govinda Raj Pokhrel said despite high demand lack of policy on promoting alternative energy has been holding back the country´s progress. “For instance, according to FNCCI, Nepali industrial sector incurs a monthly loss of Rs 5 billion due to power shortage. If Rs 25 billion is invested in alternative energy development, the industries would be relieved of power crisis for good,” Pokhrel said.
Inaugurating the exhibition, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Sunday said every household in Nepal would have clean energy solutions and indoor air pollution free kitchen by 2017.
Executive director of Nepal Biogas Promotion Association Bishnu Belbase said until and unless the government introduces policy to attract private sector investment in the renewable energy sector, the country would continue to be plagued by power crisis.
“At a time when people are facing acute power crisis, alternative energy development would bring a huge relief,” said Belbase. “If the government is genuinely concerned about the people, it will definitely bring policies to encourage investment in alternative energy development,” he added.
According to Pokhrel, alternative energy solutions are not expensive as commonly presumed. “Initially, alternative energy development might be expensive, but in the long run alternative energy solutions are cheaper than the traditional sources.”
Meanwhile, Resha Piya, senior energy officer at AEPC said the exhibition has attracted people from all walks of life. “There are more than 100 stalls where people are getting to learn about renewable energy solutions. Some are even buying the products,” she said. “The exhibition basically has 3 goals -- raising awareness among the public, influencing policy makers and attracting private and banking sector to invest in this field,” Piya added.