One month after the first devastating earthquake hit Nepal, the biggest challenges are only just beginning to emerge. While natural disasters come with their own set of problems, it is often the issues that existed beforehand that are magnified and become the hardest to overcome. In Nepal’s case, one such issue is energy security - Nepal is country that relies largely on hydropower yet is plagued by landslides even during a good year. In the past, these landslides have been known to knock out hundreds of megawatts of power from the grid. The recent earthquakes have made this situation even more vulnerable, especially as monsoon season (AKA peak landslide season) arrives.
A recent report written by Gagan Thapa, a member of Parliament and chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Energy, and Natural Resources, and Kashish Das Shrestha explores the vulnerability of Nepal’s energy infrastructure and it’s need to diversify. This article, published on the New York Times website, states:
“Nepal is one of the 15 countries considered most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and some experts have long listed it as one of the countries most at risk from earthquakes...
What is clear is that Nepal cannot afford to delay diversifying its energy portfolio and the process must involve the devolution of the country’s energy production and distribution to community and municipal levels.”
These two believe that by switching to microgrids and localizing energy with a focus on capturing solar energy, Nepal can move towards a more resilient, independent and diversified energy grid. “While the April 25 earthquake revealed our vulnerability, it also revealed the value of distributed energy systems.”
Find out more about Nepal’s energy infrastructure on energypedia.info