The Round Table Meeting on “Opportunities and Challenges on Alternative Energy Investment in Nepal” was jointly hosted by Asian Institute of Diplomacy & International Affairs (AIDIA) and Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (GoN, Ministry of Population and Environment) on 31 January, 2017 in Kathmandu. Minister of Population and Environment, Hon. Jay Dev Joshi, was the chief guest of the meeting and other distinguished experts and representative related to alternative energy sector were presented.

The meeting made the comprehensive rational analysis about the opportunities and challenges on alternative energy investment in Nepal as per its intended objectives. Issues like renewable energy (RE) promotion and investment policy of Nepal, pros and cons of government subsidy program in RE, barriers like high upfront-cost and high level of technological requirement, role of academicians and think tanks on solving alternative energy investment's barriers in Nepal, role of FDI in RE promotion among others were discussed in the meeting.

H.E. Ms. Mashfee Binte Shams, Ambassador of Bangladesh to Nepal and Shree N. Ram Prasad, First Secretary (Commerce Wing) from Embassy of India shared their respective countries’ experiences promoting alternative energy investment. They further expressed their interest to collaborate for technical as well as policy level expert sharing.

Former Minister of Environment, Science & Technology, Hon. Ganesh Shah highlighted about the significance of research and development and suggested at least 1% of total renewable energy budget should be invest on R&D, most of the speakers and participants agreed in it. Dr. Bishwa Nath Oli, Secretary, Ministry of Population and Environment, promised to take the agenda forward. 

An academician, Dr. Shree Raj Shakya, shared that there is the urgent need that academic institutes should make shift from the technical to research based, which is necessary to connect researcher with industries.Furthermore, emphasized in technology diversification in order to meet the multiple service demand of the consumers.

The major barriers highlightedby Mr. Sambaddha Pradhan,Project Development Engineer at SunFarmer Nepal, was lack of technology awareness, high initial investmentand the biggest problem right now is irregular subsidy policy for promoting the alternative energy in rural system.

The Secretary, Dr Bishwa Nath Oli, shared that providing subsidy is not the ultimate solution for promoting renewable energy so as optional solution governments have already established the renewable energy fund to provide the credit facilities for promoting renewable energy technologies in the country.

The Chief Guest of the meeting, Hon. Minister Jay Dev Joshi, urge every concern stakeholders for working closer with government to increase investment on alternative energy sector in order to fulfill the rising demand of energy and to support on environment protection.

As concluding remarks, Director of Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), Mr. Ram Prasad Dhital briefed the APEC role and strategy to increase the share of alternative energy resources on total energy demand of the country, as Nepal is aiming for 10% share by 2030. Further, he shared that AEPC is formulating battery less grid-solar connected system.