CleanStart organizes learning and and sharing workshop in Nepal

The “Learning and Sharing Workshop, Cleanstart Project - Nepal” has been successfully organized in joint collaboration with the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in Kathmandu on the 23rd of May 2016. The workshop was facilitated by Winrock International.

The programme was inaugurated by the Secretary of Population and Environment, Dr Bishwa Nath Oli. The inaugural session was chaired by the Executive Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC). Mr Ujjwal Raj Pokhrel, National Programme Coordinatior, UNCDF, and Mr. Surya Kumar Sapkota, Assistant Director at AEPC, gave their inauguration remarks during the session.

Speaking at the inaugural session, Secretary of Ministry of Population and Environment, Dr. Oli highlighted that the recently approved subsidy policy has envisioned the increasing role of credit for the accelerated adaption of renewable energy technology in the country. The credit for renewable energy technologies is very much crucial to contribute to the Government’s mission of Clean Cooking and Lighting Solution by 2017.

More than 60 representatives from donor agencies, NGOs and INGOs, financial sector, banks, project promoters, private sector, government officials, beneficiaries and other stakeholders, participated in the programme. Three CleanStart partner banks, namely Jiwan Bikash SamajNMB Bank Limited, Small Farmer Development Bank and Ace Development Bank, presented their cases and business models for renewal energy financing including their partnership with UNCDF CleanStart programme. Similalry Nirdhan Utthan Bank (a leading microfinance bank in the country), SAHARA Savings and Lending Cooperative - a small farmer cooperative - presented their operational models, which were highly appreciated during the workshop. The workshop shared knowledge on the development of viable and innovative RE financing models for potential replication and scaling up.

Five beneficiaries, who have taken loans for the installation of Solar Home System presented information that they are not only using it for domestic lighting but also for productive uses like radio TV repair center, poultry farms and grocery shops.

The project is able to increase the access to energy for the households, not just in terms of lighting or cooking, but was able to increase income of households through productive end-use as shared by the participants. Through the Cleanstart project, over 50,000 households have already had access to RETs all over Nepal. Since households are becoming more interested in RETs, there has been increasing demand for installation. The project believes that RETs can be sustainable and clean alternative for access to energy in a country like Nepal.