While domestic power generation is fully decarbonised, Nepal imports approximately a fifth of the electricity in the central grid from its neighbor India, where the power sector is still largely reliant on fossil fuels. Power consumption thus remains somewhat carbon intensive, with approximately 18% of the consumption in 2020 relying on imported fossil fuel generated electricity. Recent trends, however, show electricity import dropping in Nepal as domestic power generation capacity increases.5
To reduce such imports and the ensuing trade deficits, Nepal has invested in increasing its hydropower capacity in the past few decades. Currently, a majority of domestically produced power in the central grid comes from hydro and the remaining small percentage from solar. In remote hilly areas, electricity is produced mostly through off-grid small hydro and solar systems.
While electricity access for Nepali citizens is increasing steadily in the last few years, per capita consumption remains ten times lower than the global average.6 Nepal aims to increase its hydropower capacity ten-fold by 2030 to ensure increased access and improved quality of life for its citizens, while also creating a surplus for export.4,7
Key power sector benchmarks
Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS
- 2030 100 % Renewable share
- 2050 100 % Renewable share