Friday, 12 April, 2024

Towards Self-reliance In Power Generation

Electricity generation, supply and utilisation are the key to the country's all-out development. With its vast water resources, Nepal has all the capacity to benefit through the production and supply of hydropower energy. Over the years, the country has made commendable strides in generating power from its water resources. Our country is gradually becoming self-reliant in energy, raising hopes that it would take ahead more smoothly all of its development projects that are dependent on electricity. With considerable power generation after the completion of major hydel projects in recent years, the nation has witnessed a surplus of power. The surplus energy necessitated the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) to start selling this surplus power to neighbouring countries, India and Bangladesh. It has also lowered power tariffs for households and industries.

To achieve major goals on the power generation front, the vast water resources provide ample opportunities for the country. Since the nation has plenty of run-of-the-river type hydel projects which produce electricity when the rivers flow with massive water in them but cannot generate the same amount of power when the water level in these rivers decrease, mostly during dry seasons. Such a situation often calls for a need to have reservoir-based hydropower generation facilities. Aware of this fact, the Ministry of Energy has now started undertaking the task of building semi-reservoir or reservoir hydel projects across the country, at least one in each of seven provinces, to expedite the electrification of all parts of the nation. The other day, the Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Pampha Bhusal informed that her ministry was mulling to build the above mentioned hydel projects in each province through the NEA.

The objective of reservoir-type hydel projects will assist in power generation all seasons. Such hydel projects would have an edge over the run-of-the rivers projects, which fail to generate power to a required level during the seasons when our rivers either go dry or see their water level decrease considerably. The water of the country's rivers, most of which are snow-fed, can be stored and utilised whenever necessary. In this way, our authority can utilise river water, which would go to waste in the absence of reservoirs. Once these reservoirs start to come into operation, power would certainly become cheaper and more affordable for the masses and industries. This would in turn expedite utilisation of power for household and industrial purposes. Our dependence on imported fuel, cooking gas, and fossil-fuel driven vehicles will gradually come down, thus saving billions of rupees of tax payers.

Besides these praiseworthy moves, the Ministry of Energy in recent months has undertaken other major tasks that deserve our applause. It has reduced power tariffs for household purposes to boost power consumption and has mulled the construction of charging stations across the nation to encourage people to opt for electric vehicles. Moreover, it has allowed private companies to export power. All these facts suggest that the government is serious about providing much-needed relief to the households and industries as well as helping expedite development works and projects. The new measures on the energy front will surely aid the government in undertaking welfare programmes.