KATHMANDU, Jan 13: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has decided to provide Nepal with US$ 10 million (approximately Rs 1.13 billion) subsidized loan for the generation of electricity from urban waste.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) during the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) assembly held in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Sunday announced that it will provide $10 million assistance to Nepal to help generate electricity. Leading a Nepali delegation to show participation in the meeting, Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun accepted the assistance. “The amount will be used to operate big biogas projects in 69 different municipalities through which organic waste will be produced,” said Pun. Different nations with technical assistance from IRENA competed to get the fund. The digesters will convert organic waste into useful energy and offset the use of fossil fuels by replacing it with renewable natural gas.
The seven-phase competition shortlisted Antigua and Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cuba, the Maldives, Nepal, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines for the subsidized loans. Madhusudhan Adhikari, executive director at Alternative Energy Promotion Centre informed that the fund will be used for the flow of low-interest rate loans for big biogas and municipality level waste to energy projects.
“The fund will be used for developing wind, solar, waste-to-energy and biogas projects in Antigua and Barbuda, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cuba, the Maldives, Nepal, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines,” according a press statement issued by ADFD. A fund of $105 million from the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility will be used for eight renewable projects in developing countries including Nepal.
The amount was the highest annual contribution from the initiative, which has provided $350 million of financing to renewable projects in developing nations over the past seven years, according to the press release.
Stating the assistance is important for Nepal, Minister Pun in the meeting called for collaboration in Nepal's renewable energy and construction of other infrastructure. He said that this assistance will contribute to the operation of waste to energy projects in 69 municipalities, produce organic fertilizer and also create employment for Nepalis.
“Overcoming investment needs for energy transformation infrastructure is one of the most notable barriers to the achievement of national goals,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “Therefore, the provision of capital to support the adoption of renewable energy is key to low-carbon sustainable economic development and plays a central role in bringing about positive social outcomes.”
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director-general of ADFD, said, “The fund has enhanced long-term growth prospects and yielded socio-economic benefits for millions of lives in line with the national objectives of the beneficiary countries.”