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Nepal: Micro-hydro Promotion by Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC)
(Community Development Carbon Fund)

UNFCCC Reference No.: 3653

1 Project Documents

Project Photo 1

Project Description
This project helps the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) under the Ministry of Environment, Science, and Technology of the Government of Nepal to develop and install micro-hydropower plants ranging from 5 to 500 kW, with a cumulative capacity up to 15 MW. The implementation of these plants will be done through two AEPC projects: the Rural Energy Development Program and the Minigrid Support Program of the Energy Sector Assistance Program.  

Current Context
Nepal is an agrarian country where more than 80 percent of the population has agriculture as a primary occupation. Rural people spend most of their time in agricultural and household activities and struggle to provide their basic necessities. Only 10 percent of households are connected to the power grid. Most energy comes from traditional fuel such as fuelwood and animal dung. The dependence on fuelwood has contributed greatly to deforestation, resulting in fuelwood scarcity and widespread erosion. Fossil fuel such as kerosene is expensive for many rural people. The villagers, in particular women, often spend hours collecting fuelwood in order to cook a proper meal each day.

Community Benefits
The project has inherent direct benefits. Off-grid power generated by mini-hydro will provide a large number of rural households with electricity and power for lighting, milling, and other needs. Such off-grid renewable energy systems not only help in poverty alleviation but also have direct local environmental benefits such as:

  • Reduction in diesel consumption by replacing use of diesel power with electric agro-processing mills and household lighting
  • Reduction in use of dry cells used to operate radios and flashlights, lowering chemical pollution of the local environment and also the heath hazard resulting from the exposure and contact with these chemicals
  • Reduction in pollution from lead acid cell batteries, as with proper electric supply households need not purchase a battery to supply electricity for lighting; as charging practices are eliminated, there will be no need for continuous transport of wet lead acid batteries from houses to charging stations.



Household lighting

Households will be electrified. Ethnicity and caste of household will also be tracked in order to monitor social inclusion.

Reduction of expenditure on kerosene, diesel, and battery consumption

Kerosene, diesel, and battery consumption (and related expenditures) will be reduced.

Employment creation at local level

The project will create full-time and part-time employment opportunities during the construction and operation of the hydropower plant.

Basic infrastructure for small rural business/enterprises

Local businesses and enterprises will have increased access to electricity.

Drudgery reduction, time saving and availability of additional time

Drudgery will be reduced for women and children, and the additional time can be used in income-generating, social, and other activities.

Knowledge and educational benefits


The project will provide greater access to modern technology (television and radio) in addition to providing increased access to education and literacy initiatives.

Increased social capital

Formal/informal social groups will form to handle other development activities, and households will be involved, including through saving and crediting activities.

Gender and social inclusion

Gender and social inclusion will be addressed in the management committee and functional groups.

Time Frame: 2207-2012 and may be renewed for seven more years

Monitoring Plan: A monitoring plan will include annual progress reports on all deliverables and AEPC will carry out a Micro-hydro Users Survey annually through an independent consultant by taking statistically significant samples to monitor the community benefit.

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