As the inaugural process of the Power Summit 2013 began, the light went out for a while till the diesel generator started. From President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav to ministers, high officials and private sector investors, every one present there noticed the blackout. However, only a few spoke about the grim reality of the country.
Although Nepal is projected as a country of immense hydropower potential, it is facing up to 16 hours of load shedding during winter. The grim revelation is that Nepal has the lowest per capita consumption of electricity.
However, Nepal’s experts don’t tire to cite Nepal as having the potential to be rich in the world by selling power to India. Nepal’s power generation capacity is just over 40,000 MW and the estimated power will easily be consumed internally.
Inaugurated by president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, the function saw a wider representation from different sectors. Presenting a paper on ´Power Requirements in Future Energy Scenarios of Nepal´ at the Power Summit 2013, Prof Amrit M Nakarmi said Nepal has the lowest per capita consumption of electricity in Asia.
Per capita electricity consumption of Nepalis is 93 units, far below the per capita electricity consumption of Asia which stands at 806 units. India´s per capita electricity consumption stands at 644 units compared to 2,942 units of China. Per capita electricity consumption of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan stands at 279, 445 and 457 units, respectively.
Despite having an immense hydropower potential, hydropower has only 2 percent share in the energy mix which is heavily dominated by bio mass (85 percent). Petroleum products have 9 percent share in the energy mix, according to Nakarmi.
Nakarmi projected domestic energy demand to climb to 4,000 MW by 2020, 11,000 MW by 2030 and 31,000 MW by 2050. Subarna Das Shrestha, chairman of Independent Power Producers´ Association and the organizer of the event, said his association hopes the Summit will energize the energy sector which has slowed down since 2008.