The jagged, frozen peaks and shining lakes of Nepal make it one of the most majestic countries in the world. Unfortunately, the same terrain that gives the country its beauty is harsh, temperamental and difficult to live on. Hill and mountain communities in Nepal are prone to flash floods and climatic fluctuations which make crops unreliable.
Nepal, Renewable World’s strategic base for our South Asia Programme has a population of nearly 30 million people, and 56% of the population live on less than $2 per day. Fewer than 50% of households have access to electricity with vast disparity between urban and rural areas. The majority of hill and mountain communities still rely on collecting water manually from distant sources. According to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, 85% of the Nepali population use solid fuels for cooking (mostly wood). This high reliance is due to a lack of alternative sources of energy at affordable prices and poor access to information regarding renewable energy technology.
Political instability in Nepal in the recent past has limited both the national provision of energy service infrastructure and the stimulation of renewable energy manufacturing and distribution facilities. The Nepalese government, in collaboration with the UN, now has ambitious rural electrification aims but these will still be challenged to provide the poorest and most isolated villages with affordable modern energy services.
Given this context, Renewable World targets the most isolated and disadvantaged communities and aims to catalyse micro-economies through the provision of affordable, community based renewable energy services. We focus on getting the right technology into these challenging locations and ensure that renewable energy services meet a range of basic needs – from cooking and lighting to water pumping and productive opportunities. Through appropriate capacity building of communities we ensure that the end use of the energy lease to improved income.