+ BACKGROUND, CHALLENGES AND OBJECTIVES
Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal, with a population of about one million. Kathmandu is also the second largest metropolis in term of area after Pokhara in hilly region.
Kathmandu, also known as “City of Temples” with one of the oldest Pagoda known as Pashupatinath Temple, stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters above sea level in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley in central Nepal.
The valley is historically termed as "Nepal Mandala" and has been the home of Nepali people, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayas foothills. The city was the royal capital of the Kingdom of Nepal and hosts palaces, mansions and gardens of the Nepalese aristocracy. It has been home to the headquarters of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) since 1985. Today, it is the seat of government of the Nepalese republic established in 2008; and is part of the Province No. 3 in Nepalese administrative geography.
Kathmandu is and has been for many years the centre of Nepal's history, art, culture, and economy. It has a multiethnic population within a Hindu and Buddhist majority. It is also the home of the Newars. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of people residing in Kathmandu.
Historic areas of Kathmandu were severely damaged by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April 2015. Some of the buildings have been restored and some are in the process of reconstruction.
From 2006, for a decade, most cities from Nepal faced major challenges of lack of lighting caused by daily long black outs that would go for up to 16 hours. Residential and industrial sectors were highly affected making quality of life very poor. Power back up system and generators ran by diesel were expensive but high demand in the marker. During that period, public spaces as parks and street were far from being well used during late afternoon and night time.
In order to address this energy crisis, solar generated energy system, known as solar panels, were introduced in the Nepali market. This system generated clean energy, was easy to install and operate, and created no pressure in the existing national electricity grid and non-renewable energy.
With the time, solar power gained popularity in residential sector and in 2014, Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) with the support from Asia Development Bank (ADB), decided to introduce solar power street lighting system to KMC. Since then, this system is being widely used in major roads to residential alleys in the city, and the energy crisis ended in 2016. Since then, every year the local government is allocating a specific budget to keep this project sustainable.
+ ACTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION
Actions and Implementations
The street lighting system uses own power generated from clean energy. The system has a sensor that allows easy operation and efficient street light with a minimum operational cost. With the introduction to solar street lights, conflict between KMC and Nepal Electricity Authority over high electricity bill coming from street lights usage has come to an end. The installation cost is shared among public and private stakeholders. Private sector draws benefit from displayed advertisement that runs from solar energy.
This initiative is under the responsibility of Infrastructure Development Department of KMC.
The mentioned department is in charge of planning, developing, managing and maintaining the street lights. Every fiscal year, Kathmandu allocate budget of around 600,000 USD to keep this project sustainable and upgrade the required equipment when necessary.
- Private party was involved in the project through PPP model . Project cost is shared between the parties. Private party draws benefit from displayed advertisement that runs from own solar energy.
- Areas where advertisement display had no scope ,Public sector partnered with user’s committee.
- Security of property is ensured by private party and user’s committee involved
*Figure(left) : Solar street lights with advertisement display installed through PPP model
*Figure(right) : Solar street lights installed in residential alley through user’s committee
*UN staff at UN House in Kathmandu, Nepal on World Environment Day 2018, celebrating the installation of their new solar panels
+ OUTCOMES AND IMPACTS
Impacts and Expectations
The solar powered street lights initiative has introduced solar technology to the residents of Kathmandu City. Solar energy system is now used widely for heating, lighting and other purposes in residences. The local government is also using the energy produced by the solar panels in traffic lights from roads. Citizens have now more easy access to clean and efficient energy, also it makes the streets safe and accessible for all.
*Before(left) / After(right)
*Main street in Kathmandu
+ REPLICABILITY AND SCALABILITY
This initiative has widely been popular across the country. Residents from different areas in the city has requested the government to enlarge the project’s scale and replicate in different areas. City like Pokhara, Bharatpur has already replicated this practices in accordance to their own local circumstances and needs. The success of solar power street lighting system has only widened its scope in lighting public parks, open spaces and traffic lights.
+ BUDGET AMOUNT
This initiative is the responsibility of City infrastructure Development Department of KMC. Project related to this initiative is implemented, monitored and maintained by the same Department. Department allocate team of a senior Engineer, Engineer, supervisor for execution of the project. Every Fiscal year KMC allocate budget of around USD 600,000.00 to USD 500,000.00 for this initiative and through Bidding process equipment and Installation service is purchased.
First project in 2014 (Durbarmarg Street) was completed with support from Asian Development Bank. Some of the projects are also completed under PPP model and user’s committee model where Private sector /User’s committee also share the cost.