Statement delivered by the Rt. hon. Prime Minister of Nepal at the opening ceremony of 10th World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Statement delivered by The Rt. Hon’ble Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Prime Minister of Nepal at the

Opening Ceremony of the Tenth Session of  the

World Future Energy Summit

Abu Dhabi, January 16, 2017

Your Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of  UAE Armed Forces,

Your Highnesses

Your Excellencies

Distinguished Delegates

Delegates of Business Communities

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour to address the distinguished gathering of leaders from political, business, industry, academic spheres and journalist at this opening ceremony of World Future Energy Summit hosted on the occasion of its 10th anniversary celebration.

I would like to thank His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for the kind invitation extended to me to attend this summit. I am impressed by the excellent arrangements made for the conference.

I take this opportunity to thank the Government and people of United Arab Emirates for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to my delegation ever since our arrival in this beautiful capital city of Abu Dhabi.

As one of the largest gathering for sustainable energy and clean technologies, the World Future Energy Forum provides an excellent opportunity to engage in dialogue for achieving a common goal:

– a goal of greener and cleaner future;

– a goal of developed and more prosperous future, and

-a goal of sustainable future.

As the UAE is playing a prominent and inspiring role in revolutionizing the energy sector, this event is a fitting tribute to UAE’s contributions to the development of energy sector and clean energy solutions. We sincerely appreciate UAE’s notable initiative in this field.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Needless to say, energy is the lifeline for development; lifeline of progress; and lifeline of prosperity.

In 2015, the world leaders agreed upon a solemn pledge for sustainable future by adopting SDGs.

And, the 7th goal says – ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

Unfortunately, one in five people still lacks access to modern electricity.

In the same year, we reached an ambitious and comprehensive Paris Agreement to tackle the menace of climate change and global warming. We collectively agreed to curb the emissions and pledged for a greener future.

Unfortunately, around 60 percent of the total greenhouse emissions is due to our carbon-intensive consumption of energy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have made our pledges. We have reached several agreements.

And, the time implores us to act on those pledges; to implement the agreements; and to deliver on our promises, for gap between commitment and delivery erodes our credibility.

Access to affordable and renewable energy must be treated as a universal right that no one should be denied.

Our cooperation on energy sector must create a win-win situation for all countries and all peoples to grow and prosper.

The world reliant on fossil fuel and traditional energy cannot alone provide the answer in ensuring affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

And, obviously the answer is clean energy.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Clean energy is the ultimate enabler to realize the development goals, without jeopardizing the environment.

We must invest our resources in clean energy sources and renewable energy. Much of the potential of harnessing sustainable energy is lying dormant while 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating.

The future of energy lies in clean energy sources such as hydropower, solar, wind and thermal. Identification and development of renewable sources of energy and its judicious distribution together with related technologies must constitute the center pillar of our cooperative efforts to ensure energy security to every one.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When it comes to hydropower, Nepal was an early mover. We installed a 500-Kilowatt hydropower project back in 1911.

This was just 29 years after the first hydropower project was installed in Wisconsin, the US, and one year before China built its first hydropower project.

Unfortunately, after more than a century of first hydropower project in Nepal, above 30 percent of the population is yet to have access to electricity and is forced to depend on traditional fuels for energy requirements.

Acute energy crisis had been a bleak reality, until my government managed to reduce the power cuts by building efficiency in supply side.

Nepal’s theoretical hydroelectric potential has been estimated to be as high as 83,000 Megawatts (MW) of which 42,000 Megawatts is considered to be technically and economically feasible.

Similarly, Nepal has a huge potential for solar energy. It is located at favourable latitude that receives ample amounts of solar radiation. It has more than 300 days of sunshine in a year.

By utilizing just 0.01% of the total land area of Nepal, we can harness around 2,920 Gigawatt Hours (GWh) of energy per year from solar power.

That is almost equal to the energy from 251, 243 (two hundred 51 thousands) tons of oil.

Located between the two of the largest growing economies, Nepal could become a major energy exporter to our neighbourhood and South Asia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Emerging out of a protracted political transition, our key agenda and the need of the hour is to advance economic development.

Nepal is targeting graduation from LDC status to developing country status by 2022 and aims to become a middle-income country by 2030. To meet these targets, Nepal will need at least 6,000 Megawatts of additional energy.

For realizing our development targets by achieving an economic growth rate of decent 7.2%, total capacity of 25,000 Megawatts will have to be installed by 2040.

As we intend to intensify development efforts, investment in energy sector is full of potential.

Lots of industries and infrastructure projects are in pipeline. There are vast opportunities for development of transportation and service sectors. This opens up huge avenues for investment in energy.

Investment opportunities lie in the upgradation and expansion of distribution system and transmission system.

In 2016, Government of Nepal endorsed the ‘Action Plan on National energy Crisis Alleviation and Electricity Development Decade’, which targets to generate 10,000 Megawatts by 2025 through a roadmap for policy reforms and initiatives to spur private sector investment.

We have adopted liberal policy in foreign investment.

Government of Nepal adopted Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy last year for increasing investment in micro-hydro and solar energy.

We have provided several incentives to promote investment in energy sector, such as tax rebates, concessional duty, excise duty and refunds, up-to 100% repatriation of profit.

Our labour policy is market friendly. Moreover, we have abundance of cheap labours. We are committed to taking for the measures to create conducive industrial environment.

In addition to these policies, we are open to sign separate Programme Development Agreements with investors, for boosting their confidence.

One window system and small bureaucracy are other advantages. Nepal ranks 2nd among the South Asian countries in Ease of Doing Business index.

Nepal welcomes the investment venture from firms across the world in its energy sector.

The Power Trade Agreement (PTA) has been signed with India. This has opened up a large market for exporting electricity to India.

Similarly, South Asian countries signed the SAARC Framework agreement on Energy Cooperation during the 18th SAARC summit. This is an important step towards the eventual formation of regional energy market.

I would like to extend invitation to you, Dear Business Delegates, for attending Nepal Investment Summit on 2nd and 3rd March this year. The upcoming summit will adopt policies to attract investments in priority areas like clean energy.

Rest assured –investment in Nepal’s energy sector is profitable.

Rest assured –investment in Nepal’s hydropower is safe and secure.

If we are able to tap such resources across the world, Ladies and Gentlemen, the future will be bright and clean.

In conclusion, I stress that greener, more prosperous and more sustainable future is possible and achievable. What we need is strong political commitment, vision, partnership and collaboration coupled with intensive investment.

I wish this summit all success!

I thank you all!

Shukran!

 

 

Rt. Hon Prime Minister

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