“Our children now even do their homework in the evening and we do our household chores” – “we do not have difficulties moving around the village in the night with provision of the street light” – “we now have televisions in our village – this has improved our access to information and children can enjoy the entertainment programmes”.
These are some quotes of our beneficiaries in Hurhure Dada, Nawalparsi – West Nepal where I recently visited. This village was declared as a Renewable Energy Village by Practical Action and provided various energy options to the villagers. The Dada top of the hill is a windy hill – Practical Action captured all year wind data of the Dada and installed five small scale wind turbines together with some solar PVs with support of Livelihood Forestry Programme of the DFID. The system provided solar lantern charging facility to the villagers. Earlier the villagers were depending on kerosene wick lamp for lighting which was unsafe and hazardous for health. Now, the village has 24 hour dedicated grid electricity supply covering 46 households from the wind-solar hybrid system. The windy Dada now has two 5 kW turbines and 2 kWp solar panels, which is first of its kind in Nepal. Although I was in remote village the 24 hours electricity supply made me happy since Kathmandu the capital of the country is under huge power cut (14 hours) in a day. This follow up project was implemented by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) of the government of Nepal with technical assistance of Practical Action and financial assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
With facilitation of Practical Action the villagers are organised and establishing a cooperative to run this renewable energy system sustainably. The user group has already identified two individuals as operators who are currently under on-the-job training. The enthusiastic villagers are planning further to use the electricity for the productive end use during the off load time. This demonstrates the success of decentralised energy system and possibility of community managed wind and solar power harnessing in Nepal.