|Solar PV cells adorn the roofs of homes in the village of Mohoriguan|
Solar power is the way of the future, especially in
where traditional hydro power supplies consistently fail to meet the demands of
the population. Though hydropower may be limited, sunshine is not; Nepal
enjoys an average of 300 sunny days per year, and can generate an average of 5
kW/m². While diesel-generated electricity can cost up to Rs 30 per unit, the
cost of solar energy is less than half that amount, and dropping. The NEA’s
arguments that solar power is expensive and cannot be retained through reverse
metering have been refuted by a number of experts, including Professor Jagan
Nath Shrestha of the Pulchok Engineering Campus and Ram Prasad Dhital,
assistant director at the . Unfortunately,
institutional barriers to change prevent solar energy from being widely
adopted, despite consumer frustrations at constant power shortages and cuts. Alternative
Still, the NEA remains skeptical, even after solar photovoltaic systems set up to feed the power grid—one of which was set up at the Rural Integrated Development Services (RIDS)aytime power.
a partner of Friends of Humanity—proved successful at transmitting surplus
While much of the debate centers around urban areas, RIDS Nepal has proven the benefits of solar power in rural communities through installing solar panels in villages as part of the Family of Four initiative, and has installed nearly 700 solar lighting systems to date, limiting the environmental impact of the villages while encouraging self-sustainability.
Click here to help Friends of Humanity support RIDS
and the Family of Four initiative.