Energy resources thesis — literature review


2.1 National Scenario of Energy Consumption Pattern

MoFSC (1988) estimated that the annual per capita household consumption of fuel wood for the urban areas was 248 kg and for rural areas (including Mountain and Terai) was 559 Kg.


Pokharel (1998) states that Nepal’s energy scenario was dominated by forestry sector as it supplied more than 80 % of total energy demand in Nepal. Fuel wood would remain as the major source for the foreseeable future and its current use was not sustainable. Therefore, it is necessary to explore alternative means of supplying energy to meet the need of mainly rural people.

Rijal (1998) conducted a study and found that fuel wood is the principal energy source among the biomass fuels; its demand far exceeds the sustainable supply.

Energy is a prerequisite for the survival, development, and economic welfare of human beings. Various energy sources have been explored by human society to fulfill energy needs. However, biomass, especially wood, still constitutes a primary energy source in rural areas of developing countries. For example, in the Himalayan mountain region, fuel wood is one of the principal sources of energy for cooking, space heating, and water heating in rural households (Rijal 1999)

Bhattarai (2003) stated Nepal as one of the highest traditional fuel consuming country in the Asia because of its high dependency on traditional biomass fuels, mostly firewood and limited extent of charcoal and residues of crops and animals.

CBS (2003) stated the main source of energy of 94.1 % rural household is firewood whereas in urban areas the main source of energy are firewood, kerosene and other sources of commercial energy which account about 39 %, 35 %, and 25 % respectively. WINROCK and Eco Securities (2004) reported hill households in rural areas consume about 6 and 7.6 tones of firewood during summer and winter respectively, whereas, Terai households consumes about 3.7 tones. And 5.4 tones of firewood in summer and winter respectively.

Neupane (2005) studied the household energy consumption pattern in the rural area of Nepal in Dang, Hapur VDC. The study revealed that, at Hapur VDC, the consumption of firewood dominated all for cooking purposes and kerosene and electricity for lightening purpose. The per capita firewood, electricity, and kerosene consumption was found to be 719.5 kg and 33.5 units and 66 liters respectively.

ICIMOD (2006) reported that the energy consumption pattern by source between 1993/94 and 2002/03 showed the energy consumption dominated by traditional sources, which accounted for about 87 percent of the total energy consumption has been slowly declining.

ICIMOD (2006) reported that, of the traditional sources, fuel wood accounted for 89 percent, agricultural residues for 4 percent, and animal waste for 6 percent. Fuel wood contributed 75 percent of the total energy consumed in 2002/03. This indicates the pressure on the traditional sources, primarily on the forests.

MOF (2006) reported that the total energy consumption of the country has been increased at a rate of 2.49 % per year with the increase of 4.77 % of energy consumption from firewood.

Gautam (2007) reported that the existing energy consumption pattern in Nepal is not sustainable. This may lead to rapid degradation of the natural environment and threaten livelihood of the people if sustainable and timely interventions are not introduced.

MOF (2007) reported that in Nepal out of the total amount of traditional energy used (85.50 % of total energy demand); the share of fuel wood was 88.68 %.

According to the report published by WECS in 2010, fuel wood was the biggest energy resources in Nepal providing about 77 % of the total energy demand in the year 2008/09. Other sources of biomass energy were agricultural residues and animal dung which contributed about 4 % and 6 %, respectively. Share of Petroleum fuels in the total energy system was about 8 %. This share was somehow similar with the past few years. Other sources of commercial energy were coal and electricity, both of which contributed about 4 % in the total energy. The overall energy consumption of Nepal was mainly dominated by the use of traditional non commercial forms of energy such as fuel wood, agricultural residues and animal waste. The share of traditional biomass resources, commercial energy resources and renewable energy resources were 87 %, 12 %, and 1 % respectively. The share of traditional fuel was decreased from 91 % in 1995/96 to 88 % in 2004/05 and to 87 % in 2008/09. The remaining 13 % of energy consumed was through commercial sources (Petroleum fuels, Coal, and Electricity) and renewable energy. The total energy consumption in the year 2008/09 was about 9.3 million tones of oil equivalent (401 million GJ) out of which 87 % were derived from traditional resources, 12 % from commercial sources and less than 1 % from the alternative sources (WECS, 2010).

(CBS, 2011) stated that firewood is the predominant energy carrier, counting for more than 70% of consumption. However, its use is inefficient and poses a threat to the country’s forests. At the same time, the indoor pollution caused by open hearths in homes presents a hazard to health. Mains electricity is generally only available in urban areas and some 30% of the population does not have access to it.

 According to Nepal’s Water and Energy Commission Secretariat (WECS, 2010), the national biomass balance is in deficit. Wood consumption in 2005 was estimated to at 17 million tones, with over-exploitation estimated at 10 million tones. Nonetheless, increased penetration of biogas and liquefied petroleum gas LPG for cooking may have helped reduce annual wood removal in some regions (Magrath, Shrestha, Subedi, Dulal, & Baumback, 2013).

According to the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC, 2016), over 300,000 households had installed a biogas plant by 2015. Household biogas has the greatest potential in regions with numerous livestock, such as the Terai plains. Beyond efforts to promote household biogas, AEPC is currently implementing an Extended Biogas Programme with support from the World Bank, which aims to build 1200 large-scale biogas plants by mid-2017. Unlike household biogas plants, which are fueled primarily by cow dung, the large commercial and municipal plants will convert municipal wastes into thermal or electrical power.

(IEA, Nepal 2016) stated that the petroleum is the second largest source of energy in Nepal after fuel wood, accounting for 11% of the country’s primary energy supply. Roughly two-thirds of the oil imported by Nepal is used for transport. The rest is used mostly for household lighting, cooking and heating; agriculture and forestry; and commercial and public services. Coal provides 4% of Nepal’s energy supply, and is consumed almost entirely by industry.

(Pokharel, 2015) state-owned Nepal oil corporation, which is responsible for the import and distribution of fuel in Nepal, declared a “fuel emergency”, while the government distributed firewood to citizen to help them cope. Nepal accused the government of India of deliberately cutting off Nepal’s fuels supplies, a charge that India denied.

(AEPC, 2016) stated that AEPC’s Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment in Nepal estimates that the country has the commercial potential for about 2,100 MW of grid-connected solar PV 3,000 MW wind power potential. To date, the solar supplies only a supplies only a negligible amount to Nepal’s national grid. Wind has not been exploited.

 Nepal declared a ‘national energy crisis’ in 2008 after a flood of the Koshi River destroyed a key transmission line importing electricity from India, and drought in another part of the country reduced supply (World Bank, 2011).

(Pathak, 2010) stated that the similar extreme events, and the inconsistency of Nepal’s hydro resources, may be exacerbated by climate change. While the impacts remain uncertain, likely effects include changes to patterns of precipitation and glacial retreat. Projections show that Nepal’s runoff could decline by as much as 14% due to climate change, reducing the generation capacity of existing plants, and the economic feasibility of new ones.

(Giri, 2016) The chairman stated that of rate increase would be delayed until the political situation improved: “We have put the plan on hold because the people are going through rough times due to the Indian trade embargo and the country is facing a severe power outage”.


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