Similarly, attempts to invest in large solar farms in the trans-Himalayan region of Upper Mustang were abruptly cancelled by the PMO this year, apparently due to opposition from up North.
So, there isn’t just one, but two elephants in the room. The inability of successive Nepal governments to steer an independent energy policy and gain backing of its large neighbours stymied large projects. Investors were also deterred by government indecision, red tape and blatant extortion.
The Power Summit this week, organised by the Independent Power Producers’ Association of Nepal (IPPAN) with the motto ‘Powering the Asian Century’, is thrashing out these same issues. At a time when Nepal needs a new paradigm and strong political will for energy security, the same politicians who failed to deliver since 1990 are in power. It would be naïve to expect much from them.
The miracle is that despite governments actively discouraging investors, Nepal has now emerged from a decade of power cuts, new energy projects are coming into operation every other month, and the popular head of the Nepal electricity Authority (NEA), Kulman Ghising, is saying that the problem now is not lack of electricity but people not using what is generated.
The Water Emergency, Ajaya Dixit
Decentralising (hydro)power,Gyanendra Lal Pradhan
An energy windfall for Nepal?, Kushal Gurung