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Research Based on Hydro-Power Potential In Nepal And Its Challenges

1071 Downloads1 I Published: 03 Jan ,2020

Purpose of the research

Significance of topic area- Nepal has a huge potential in hydro-power due to its everlasting rivers and its sheer slope. These topographical conditions are idealistic for development of some of the world's biggest hydro-power projects in the country. However, the bitter truth is that only about forty percent of population is having access to electricity. Mostly, the power plants are run-of-river type which are having excessive energy that makes the demand more in monsoon season and insufficient in the summer season. Mainly, the electricity is generated through hydro-power (Pierre, 2012).

Context where the problem resides- Even though the country is having very large capacity for electricity, the truth is that it is incapable to meet current energy demands of its own population.   

Aim of research project- Purpose of the research project is “To investigate hydro-power potential in Nepal and its related challenges”.

Academic topic area and general context of problem

Possessing 6,000 rivers and steep Himalayan slopes, this is not surprising that the country relates its future with development in the hydro-power. From the 1960s, private developers and INGOs have developed the nation expecting for better sites for hydro-power projects. Huge investments have been done in planning  hydro-power in the last two decades only.  

In general context, the country is facing the energy crises. Currently, it is suffering from huge energy crisis even possessing immense potential for energy. Nepal is not able to explore or use its resources to the fullest. Till 2012, the total electricity production was 650 MW out of which 580 MW was contributed through hydro-power. The total need for energy in present context is 1027 MW out of which 375 MW is expected to be shed (Bryman and Bell, 2015).

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Specific context of problem

When going specifically there are lots of problems due to which the country is witnessing the above stated energy crisis. As Nepal is an underdeveloped nation with a GDP of 18.8 billion. The expenditure on hydro-power sector is less than 2 percent. For generating energy through hydro-power resources, there is requirement for  heavy investments. Also the policies regarding hydro-power development has not been revised by the country. In 1992, it was formulated for the first time. In 2001, it was revised. After that, there were several changes which were being observed such as political, economical and environmental changes. Apart from these, the unstable environment for investors is also one of the most crucial factors which are contributing in the energy crisis (Kratochwill, 2013).

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Research questions: These questions are based on the aim of t research study. They will provide the base to attain objectives of the research project.

  • What are the potent measures of hydro-power in Nepal?
  • What are the various challenges associated with hydro-power potential in Nepal?

Research aim:  The aim of the research project is “To investigate hydro-power potential in Nepal and its related challenges”.

The aim of this research project will further help to frame some effectual recommendations for researcher to gain relevant knowledge about certain impelling ways of overcoming current energy crisis in Nepal.

Objectives: These objectives are founded upon the above framed questions and intended goal of the survey.

  • To analyse the potent measures of hydro-power in Nepal
  • To ascertain various challenges associated with hydro-power potential in Nepal
  • To recommend some effective ways in which identified challenges can be minimised

LITERATURE REVIEW

Literature review is necessary component of research project in which views of different authors and professionals are taken into account to conduct the research in an appropriate manner. This part provides ground for the entire study in which adequate amount of data is discovered from which research can be conducted in an efficient manner. This section will throw light on essential part of the data which is gained for achieving research. The present research is prepared on the hydro-power potential in Nepal and its challenges.

Water is a crucial natural resource of Nepal. It is available in immense quality and has the potential of reaping hydro-power based energy which provides opportunities for overcoming the hurdles coming in its economical development. The electricity generation is dominated through hydro-power in Nepal. In accordance with the views of Sharma and Awal, (2013) in the whole scenario of energy consumption of the country, the electricity is a little fraction, just 1 percent need for energy is met through electricity. The large part is dominated from fuel wood, agricultural wastage, animal dung and imported fossil fuel. Another fact is that just 40 percent of the population is having access to the electricity. Due to this situation, it is necessary for Nepal to grow the energy dependence on electricity through hydro-power development. This is due to deforestation, diminution, growing flooding downstream in  Ganges plain and soil erosion. Inadequate wood has also forced farmers to burn the animal dung. Zarfl and et. al., (2015) stated that development of hydro-power sector will be helpful in attaining millennium development objectives along with preventing natural resource which is very urgent. It is the only way which can reap numerous advantages for the country and even become an aid in alleviating poverty in Nepal. It is a source of renewable and clean energy for stabilising the electricity supply. It is also helpful in providing year round irrigation leading to growth in cropping intensity and changing pattern of cropping. This in turn reduces deforestation and emission greenhouse gas as well.

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Nepal,(2012 asserted that Nepal has adopted policy of Integrated Water Resource Management(IWRM) from which projects in hydro-power sector are developed aligned with irrigation, control on floods, supply of water and navigation elements whenever executable. As Nepal is dependent on the agricultural sector, it has to maximise the advantages of irrigation through giving year round irrigation from storage projects formed for high energy generation. As per the view points of Gurung Ghimeray and Hassan, ( 2012) Nepal has several benefits of hydro-power such as the energy which is generated is non-polluting, clean and nature friendly. The cost associated with this sector is low and also it is cost-effective to maintain and operate it. It has the capability to begin and stop very speedily. The direct load acceptation or rejection makes this sector appropriate to fulfil the demands when in peak and to improve reliability and stability of the system. Yadoo and Cruickshank, (2012 ) contented that these hydro-power projects have very long life. Also the cost of generating is free from the effects of inflation after it is installed at initial stages. The per unit cost is very low as compared to other forms of energy. Also this is the most feasible type of energy for carbon credits. It is the more suitable as compared to other alternatives as they put minimum stress on resources. Shrestha and Shakya, (2012) asserted that   Also Nepal is very lucky as it has plentiful of water which minimises it reliance on foreign nations. This sector can serve as a support for the entire economic development of Nepal.

The hydro-power plants have the potential to export and therefore have large opportunities for balancing the current trade imbalances. Shakya Kumar and Shrestha,(2012) argued that though possessing immense potential for energy, Nepal is impotent in utilising the natural resources which are available. The key problems or obstacles faced by Nepal which leads to energy crisis are lack of investment in the sector. As it is an underdeveloped nation situated between China and India. Its GDP is 18.8 billion from which only 2 percent  is spent on hydro-power sector.  As per views of Gurung and Oh, (2013)  To generate energy from hydro-power resources there is a need of large investments and Nepal is not having enough financial funds for making investments in hydro-power sector. Major part of the budget made by Nepal government is spend on meeting the basic requirements of Nepalese citizens such as education, agriculture, health, infrastructure etc. Biggs and et. al.,(2013) asserted that also deficiency of suitable hydro-power development policy has lead to energy crisis in Nepal. However it has developed very much in the development policy of hydro-power, it is still lacking in numerous issues. It formulated its first hydro-power development policy in 1992. The current revision of that policy was being done in 2001. since then there were lot of changes which took place in Nepal. At present Nepal is a federal nation and has faced several changes in its political and economic environment.

Then also the hydro-power development policy has not been reviewed according to the changes which happened. According to the view of Hydropower Development in Nepal: Opportunities and obstacles,(2011) the unstable environment for the purpose of making investments has lead to energy crisis in Nepal. The defining aspect of Nepal is its political instability from the past two decades. It became a federal nation in 2007 and currently is in transformation stage of making constitution. The lengthy conflict between political parties of Nepal has made tough for getting complete and stable constitution which is resulting in unsuitable political environment. Gautam Li and Ru, (2015) stated that inadequate good governance, lack of effective investment policies and rules, poor bureaucratic system are some variables which discourage investors to make huge investments in Nepal. They have certain complaints regarding the present procedure of getting clearances for every phase of construction across several ministries. They have a view that the numerous regulatory barriers and slow and steady bureaucratic approvals cut their resources very deeply.  As per the views of Shrestha and et. al.,(2014) this also discourages the foreign investors also. There are also some technological obstacles associated with the development of hydro-power in Nepal. Currently is not having adequate number of technically trained and skilled human resources if large sized hydro-power development projects are considered. Huber and Joshi, (2015) argued that most of the local contractors are labour contractors who are not having  sufficient equipments and staff for the big job positions. If they prefer to hire foreign contractors, it increases their cost up to 50 percent and their money goes out of their country.

It is imperative to develop their own human  resources if the water resources are to be developed. Neopane and Sujakhu,(2013) asserted that legal obstacles are also one of the most essential challenge which should be addressed. The finance act invalidated the facilities provided by the Hydro-power Development Policy for attracting the private sector. The one window policy aiming at facilitating hydro-power development is not functioning properly. The decision-making procedures are very much slow and sluggish in the electricity sector of Nepal. Gurung and et. al., (2013) said that it is leading to increase in cost of the projects and is becoming a hurdle in the entry of additional entrepreneurs. Apart from these obstacles social and environmental issues are also significant in contributing to energy crisis in Nepal. The projects which are multi-purpose and large scale submerge big lands which displaces the people residing in that region.   

Research design

Research design is a blueprint of the whole research which is highlighting the nature of study for addressing the questions framed for research. There are various types of designs for research like explanatory, descriptive and exploratory. The characteristic of each kind of research design is different from each other. The explanatory research design only gives explanation of the research title and does not conduct any deep analysis (Creswell, 2013). Descriptive research design provides description of the topic chosen while exploratory design helps in exploration of new ideas and ways. For the present research, descriptive research design is being adopted for conducting in-depth study on the topic. The other two research designs are not preferred because they are not supporting this specific study. Further, it is crucial to identify if the research is qualitative or quantitative. Quantitative research is conducted if the data and information is present in numeric form. On the other hand, qualitative study is undertaken when the data is not present in numerical form. For the present research qualitative research study is being taken as the data is present in non-numerical form (John Kuada, 2012).

REFERENCES

  • Biggs, E.M., Duncan, J.M., Atkinson, P.M. and Dash, J., 2013. Plenty of water, not enough strategy: how inadequate accessibility, poor governance and a volatile government can tip the balance against ensuring water security: the case of Nepal. Environmental science & policy, 33, pp.388-394.
  • Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA.
  • Creswell, J.W., 2013. Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.
  • Gautam, B.R., Li, F. and Ru, G., 2015. Assessment of urban roof top solar photovoltaic potential to solve power shortage problem in Nepal.
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