Renewable Energy Village Power Systems for Remote and Impoverished
Himalayan Villages in Nepal
Zahnd Alex, Haddix McKay Kimber, Richard Komp
Department of Mechanical Engineering Kathmandu University, P.O. Box 6250, Kathmandu,
Nepal [email protected] / University of Montana and The ISIS Foundation, Missoula,
Montana, 59801, USA [email protected], / Maine Solar Energy Association, 17 Rockwell Rd
SE, Jonesport ME 04649 USA [email protected]
1.6 – 2 billion people in developing countries live in dark homes, without access to electricity,
and 2.4 billion rely on traditional biomass for their daily energy services, such as cooking,
heating and lighting. Lack of electricity and heavy reliance on traditional biomass are hallmarks
of poverty in developing countries, and women and children in particular suffer enormous health
problems due to open fire places. The high migration and urbanization rates in developing
countries will continue, forcing governments to focus more on urban energy service provision
and extension. That widens the gap between poor and rich, highlighting the relationship between
poverty and access to electricity further. Nepal, with the majority of its people living in difficult
to access areas with no roads is a typical example of that. Belonging to the poorest and most
undeveloped countries, the per capita electricity consumption is among the lowest in the world.
The geographical remoteness, the harsh climatic conditions, low population density with
minimal energy demand and low growth potential, are some of the reasons why rural
electrification costs in Nepal are prohibitive and the isolated rural mountain villages in Nepal
will not be reached within the foreseeable future through grid extensions alone.
Nepal is not rich in fossil fuel resources but it has plenty of renewable energy resources, in
particular water that is running down from the vast Himalayan mountain ranges in over 6,000
rivers. With 300 sunny days a.