Renewable Energy Market for Rural Electrification in Developing Countries: Country Case Nepal

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: The availability of abundant renewable resources, lack of fossil fuels and difficult geographical terrain for grid line extensions contribute to the advantages of renewable based decentralized rural electrification in Ne-pal. Solar home system (SHS) and micro-hydro are the most commonly adopted off-grid renewable energy technologies in the country. This dis-sertation examines the market of renewable energy based rural electrifi-cation within prevailing policy and programmes framework. The study verifies whether the market has been able to serve the poor in Nepal. It also captures the perception of various stakeholders (e.g. private sup-ply/installation companies, NGOs, financial institutions and the donor‘s programme) regarding the business, financing issues and the role of gov-ernment policy on the market development. In addition, the study dis-cusses and analyses renewable based rural electrification supply models, the economics behind rural electrification, market drivers and market distribution in the rural areas of Nepal.The financial mix in the off-grid rural electrification is generally charac-terized by subsidy, equity and credit. The study shows that awareness about renewable energy technologies and willingness to pay for electricity access has increased considerably. However, there is a huge financial gap between the cost of electrification and affordability among the poor. The distribution analysis shows there is significant increment in the extensive growth but decrease in the intensive growth rate of rural electrification thus indicating market expansion with uneven penetration among the ru-ral people. Solar PV technology is still not in the reach of the economic poor. Access to credit and cumbersome subsidy delivery mechanisms have been perceived as the major factors affecting the expansion of rural electrification by the stakeholders, requiring innovation in the credit and subsidy delivery system so that a larger rural population can be given ac-cess to electrification.