Solar boats can be operated in Fewa Lake: Experts

Published On: December 31, 2017 08:10 AM NPT By: Santosh Pokharel

POKHARA, Dec 31: Instead of depending on the muscular force to row boats, boat entrepreneurs in Fewa Lake of Kaski district can harness solar energy to operate their boats in a more convenient manner without harming the surrounding environment, according to experts who concluded their feasibility experiments on Thursday.

The experiment, which is based on a Chinese technology, was conducted on a boat which can carry up to 10 persons at a time. It was initiated by Renewable Energy Confederation. Mayor Man Bahadur GC of Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City and former Environment Minister Ganesh Shah among others were present in the technical team. 

The studies and experiment concluded that the technology is suitable for Fewa Lake from both environmental and technical perspectives, said Mayor GC. “After the implementation of the technology, boat entrepreneurs can forget about rowing their boats with their hands,” he said.

The mayor further stressed the need for taking initiatives to use the technology in Fewa Lake because it is also environment friendly. “The metropolis is positive about it,” he said.

Gunaraj Dhakal, chairman of Renewable Energy Confederation, said the technology can be adopted by installing solar panels on the roofs of boats. The solar energy will be used for charging batteries installed in the boat.

“We used lower capacity solar panels and battery in our test phase. At an optimum level, solar panel of at least 1,000 watt can be installed in a boat for entrepreneurial purpose,” he said.

Dhakal said the government should provide grants to the boat entrepreneurs in Fewa Lake to encourage them to adopt the technology. 

“If the government brings programs and provides grants with minimal interest rates, the technology can be used in Fewa, Begnas and other lakes. Once invested, it is sustainable and can generate income for years,” he said, adding that machine-operated boats also make rescue works faster when untoward accidents happen in lakes. 

Likewise, the technology can also be used in rivers of the country's southern plains to promote tourism, Dhakal said. “We can utilize this technology to further develop our country's tourism. Apart from the rivers in the plains, the technology can also be used in small ponds.”

Former environment minister Shah stressed the need for harnessing renewable energy sources. “Just like e-rickshaws used in the tarai region, solar-powered boats need to be used in our lakes. It is an alternative to diesel-powered engines without harming our environment,” he said.

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