Denmark Helps Rural Nepal To Switch to Sustainable Energy

nepal-renewable-energyDenmark has announced it will be providing Danish Kroner 205 million (US$36M) to help with the implementation of the National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP) in Nepal. The agreement was signed in Kathmandu on December 07th by Finance Minister Shanta Raj Subedi, and Danish Embassador Mr. Morten Jespersen on behalf of their respective governments.

The objective of the program is to reach more than one million rural households with alternative energy technologies, including small hydropower, biogas, solar cells and improved cooking stoves. Lack of access to energy in rural Nepal is a major challenge for Nepal’s socioeconomic development and for securing long term peace.

Besides sustainability, the project also has a socially responsible concern as well, as it aims a reaching women and the most marginalized groups in the villages and communities, besides stimulating socioeconomic development in rural communities.

With increased access to energy, chances to improve the living standard of rural women and men, increase employment of women and men as well as productivity are bigger. Alternative energy also reduces dependency on traditional, dirty energy, leading to better prospects of sustainable development.

One of the challenges faced by renewable energy supporters is to attract credit and private sector participation in financing renewable energy technologies. The program managers are working to create a finance mechanism based on access to credit.

Since 1998 Denmark has strategically been part of building up and supporting the Government in developing and rolling out renewable technologies in rural areas of Nepal, which are not part of the central grid. The new National Rural Renewable Energy Programme, which runs from July 2012 to July 2017 will be led by the Nepalese authorities. NRREP’s budget is projected to be US$ 184 million and will be funded by Development Partners and the Government.

Image credit: Denmark in Nepal

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