In a move encouraging energy sector, Nepal’s hydropower potential increased almost three-fold to 150 MW in 2017.
The country’s energy sector that saw 2017 beginning with the addition of 50 MW capacity to the national grid continued a successful path adding 15 other hydropower projects with a total installed capacity of 100 MW by end of 2017.
Overall, the country witnessed a total installed capacity of around 150 MW from 16 hydropower projects in 2017.
Interestingly, private sector held a largest share in all of these projects with only a limited participation seen from the state-owned Nepali Electricity Authority (NEA).
However, few other key projects of NEA that are set to generate good amount of power are likely to be completed soon.
30 MW capacitive Chameliya Hydropower Project and 456 MW capacitive Upper Tamakoshi Hydropower Project are among NEA projects nearing completion.
Besides hydropower projects, the energy sector also saw a major milestone in the construction of transmission lines across the country.
The 132 KV Blanch-Attariya line that would evacuate the power from the Chameliya Hydropower Project to the national grid has been brought into operation.
2017 also saw the endorsement of the Electricity Regulatory Commission Act 2017 that facilitates the establishment of the Nepal Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), an independent body to regulate the country’s power sector.
The country’s energy ministry has also brought a regulation to sign dollar-denominated power purchase pacts with hydropower projects that resort to foreign loans.