1 Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University2 Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore3 Bosch Solar Energy Ag, Singapore4 Department of Business Development and Technology, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University
Underinvestment, low levels of electricity access, natural disasters, topography and hydrology make Nepal’s electricity crisis akin to ‘peeling a pickle’: difficult to pin down and hard to manage. Based primarily on the perceptions of a sample of experts, this article lays out a roadmap for how the ‘pickle’ of the Nepali electricity crisis can be peeled. Drawing on primary data collection from research interviews, the study offers a brief summary of the Nepali electricity and energy sectors. It then details six separate electricity challenges identified by respondents—topography and climate; political instability resulting from the aftermath of the Maoist insurgency; poverty and corruption; lack of financing and investment; constrained technological and human resources; and, finally, aid dependency and political manoeuvring. We conclude by calling on Nepali policymakers to invest in distributed generation, transmission upgrades, seasonal hydroelectric storage and industrial energy efficiency practices, and to introduce electricity tariff reforms, among other measures.