Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Solar Darbar

With no extra power likely to be added to the grid, the government has sought an alternative to supply power to the government administrative centre, Singha Darbar, by installing 1MW solar panels.

"The power will be supplied to Singha Darbar within this fiscal year," says Narayan Prasad Chaulagain, executive director of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC). According to him, it will take three months to install the solar plant. Besides Singha Darbar, the prime minister's residence and Bir Hospital will be supplied with alternative energy in the first phase. Surplus power will be distributed elsewhere.

The estimated generation cost is Rs 220 million, while the cost for 1MW of hydropower will be between Rs 150-200 million, though costs often increase with increasing interest rates and local disputes.

The demand of power in Singha Darbar is 500KW. "Solar is the best option for Singha Darbar as there is workload during the day," says Chaulagain. "The surplus energy will be added to the grid."

The government has decided to proceed with the plan as the current power deficit is 430MW in the country's central region, including the Kathmandu Valley.

"This can be a stopgap solution to loadshedding, if we can expand the service," says an official at the AEPC, which currently subsidises solar power in remote villages.

The private sector has been asking the government to install multi-fuel plants or whatever is necessary so industrial operation can continue. The Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI), in a recent meeting with the finance minister, declared that they were willing to pay Rs 15 per unit of electricity.

"Maoists will join the government"
Act soon
Tea history erased
Stand by your words
Pokhara flies

1. DG
Solo Durbar not Solar  Durbar.

2. koji
Dig them a deep well, make a vegetable patch, throw in a few goats and lock the gates.

3. jange

Interesting article- not for what it says but for what it doesn't!

Who is paying for it? Nepal government? The staff ¬ in Singha Durbar? Extortion money from the Maoists??

As per the article 1 MW of¬ hydro costs less than 1 MW of solar. And still solar is the preferred investment??

What is the price of the ENERGY generated by the two systems?

Which system produces cheaper energy? By how much?

But I guess these questions don't matter as the solar panels are more than likely financed by some foreign donor.

Sittai ma paye pacchi chuk pani khanu parccha??

If three ministers and one spoke person enough for operating the FDR-N through last 25 days 40 KW Generator enough Cheap secretary others in my
adjoining building. deposit the budget in my fix a/c , i will do on turnkey basis
for my motherland.

5. ramesh
our house also same same SOLAR HOUSE last 15 years

6. jhyaure
Guys, chill.

Why must we view everything with a brow raised and fingers pointing.

I think it is a great idea. So what if it costs more than building a 1MW hydro power plant. Yes trying to figure out how to solve the hydro electric power generation crisis is probably more important than retrofitting the lion's den with solar power but clearly we haven't been able to make the most of our hydro electric potential. And even if we came up with a solution today it would be another decade or so before we start to reap the benefits.

This is a great example to set by the government. Yes, it is an albeit defunct, corrupt, I-don't-give-a-damn, government but hey, it's promoting the use of alternative energy sources. Hydro power has always been the solution to nepals energy problems but solar power is an immediate solution. If this government manages to take the entire government infrastructure off the grid and achieve nothing else, then it will have done some good for this country. It's a step in the right direction and hey, maybe the rest of the city will follow suit.

Honestly, I have my doubts about the transparency of this project and where the money is coming from and where the majority of it will go (tucked away in back pockets.. but wouldn't you rather the "extorted" money that "jange" talks of go to this project instead of towards purchasing the latest  Land Cruiser) or whether this project will even be completed.

But look on the bright side.

7. jange
6. jhyaure
Guys, chill.

Why must we view everything with a brow raised and fingers pointing.

I think it is a great idea. So what if it costs more than building a 1MW hydro power plant.

No real problems. Just that the 1 MW solar and a 1 MW hydro cost the same but the solar produces around 1.5 million units of electricity per year and the hydro produces around 7.5 million units per year.

To put it another way the 1 MW hydro will supply enough electricity for a year for around 7000 households.

It will also reduce the loadshedding for around 5 minutes per day- or around 25 hours per year.

But why should I complain? It is not as if they are spending my money. My grouse is more that the journalist did not ask these questions. Perhaps this is a sponsored news item from AEPC in which case it is totally understandable. You don't want to bit the hand that feeds you.

If it is a sponsored article then NT must be admired for its marketing√Į¬Ņ¬Ĺ innovation. Get the client to print an item in another paper praising the client. Then print the item in your own paper, NT, as a selection from the Nepali press. This way the NT can't be blamed for the content but it still meets the client's requirements so everyone is happy.

8. Arthur
Who says consensus is impossible? Even jange and I are in genuine agreement on the solar power scams!

Faulticians are clever and bureaucracy short sighted why they need light
follow my white stick ,and take  national begging ball in hands..... ADB, WB , China ,India , USA ------ or Many more...... Allah ..... will help you. No need solar use money in sona bath


11. ises

The world added about 16 gigawatts (GW) of new solar photovoltaic (PV) power in 2010, double the growth seen a year earlier

The added capacity in 2010 brought cumulative, global solar PV power to nearly 40 GW, up 70 percent from nearly 23 GW in 2009.

95% of Solar PV instlled are off-grid. Neighbouring India plans to install 20,000 MW by 2020.  Installation of Solar PV plant is less than a year. Japanese are installing 0.68MW in Sundari ghat, Kathmandu this year for pumping water and sarplus for grid connect for KUKL.

Why should investor with US$ 100M cash invest in hydropower and wait for 10 years to  cater power hungry nepalese. Installing with Solar PV will get result within 1 year. Nepal has 300 days sunshine and compared to Beijing 42.4% more sunshine. 

Recent ICIMOD Report on global warming and its impact on himalayas are not very proming for hydro power promoters. Capacity of Nepalese hyrodro power could be half after 5 to 10 years. Run off the river hydro projects are cheap but will only provide power during wet season only good for export. Nepal needs all sources of energy to come out of heavy load sheeding. Nepal has highest load sheeding after Iraq and Afghanistan which are both conflict area.  

Our 300,000 rural house hold or 1.8M rural people  as part of pre-electrifcation are enjoying solar energy by using solar home  systems urban dwellers should also start learning of Solar PV which is becoming cheaper every year.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)