Asta-Ja and Energy Security in Nepal

  • Durga D Poudel The Founder of the Asta-Ja Framework, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
Keywords: Hydroelectricity, alternative energy sources, energy security, Asta-Ja, Nepal

Abstract

Energy independence and sustainable renewable energy sources are the two main components of energy security for Nepal. More than 2/3rd of energy consumed in Nepal comes from biofuels and waste and about 1/4th of energy consumed comes from coal and petroleum products. With increasing number of motor vehicles and rising demand for cooking gas, Nepal’s coal and petroleum import bills in recent years have reached over Rs. 200 billion. With its vast water resources, Nepal has a great potential for energy independence and sustainability and achieve energy security. Nepal’s current 1,689 MW hydroelectricity capacity is expected to reach over 5,000 MW in next three to five years, which means Nepal will have a large amount of clean energy in the market. This increased hydropower production will also require an increased domestic consumption by making hydroelectricity affordable, reliable, and high-quality energy by improving its distribution system. Nepal also has a very high potential for solar power, which need to be harnessed and brought to the national grid. Nepal needs to harness all energy sources, which consist of hydropower, solar power, wind power, biofuels, and biogas, in a sustainable way for its energy independence and security. Because Nepal is in a geologically active and natural disasters prone area, it is critical to ensure ecological balance of Asta-Ja elements, Nepali letter, Jal (water), Jamin (land), Jungle (forest), Jadibuti (medicinal and aromatic plants), Janashakti (manpower), Janawar (animal), Jarajuri (crop plants) and Jalabayu (climate) while developing energy resources. Asta-Ja Framework serves as the connecting bridge between the energy resources and the end users. Strategic planning for comprehensive energy development considering ecological balance of Asta-Ja resources, decarbonization and electrification of energy end uses, improvement of energy infrastructures, continuous monitoring and evaluation of energy sector, and development of hydropower plants and alternative energy sources such as solar and wind is suggested for energy security in Nepal.

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Author Biography

Durga D Poudel, The Founder of the Asta-Ja Framework, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

Durga D. Poudel is a Professor of Environmental Science at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, USA. He received his B.Sc. degree in Agriculture from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, M.Sc. in Natural Resource Development and Management from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand, and Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA. Dr. Poudel’s professional experience consists of Research Fellow at Asian Vegetable Research and Development Center, Taiwan; Graduate Research Assistant in Sustainable Agricultural and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA; and Visiting Research Scholar, University of California Davis, USA. Dr. Poudel joined the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, USA, as an Assistant Professor of Soil Science in August 2000. Dr. Poudel is a Board of Regents Professor in Applied Life Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA. As an Associate Editor, Dr. Poudel has been serving the Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment journal since 2020. He is the Founder of Asta-Ja Framework and the Founding President of Asta-Ja Research and Development Center (Asta-Ja RDC) Kathmandu, Nepal, and Asta-Ja USA.

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Published
2021-11-20
Section
Articles