Rural Electrification through Biomass Gasification for Livelihoods and Energy in Nepal

Duration: Feb 2013 to June 2016
Project Location: Dang
Focal Person: Mr. Binod Prasad Shrestha and Mr. Sandeep Joshi
Status: Completed

Despite the high economic growth in the Asian Pacific, it is estimated that around 30% of the people in region and 21% of the people in South East Asia did not have access to electricity supply as of 2010.  According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, more than one third of the population in Nepal still do not have access to electricity. In areas where grid extension is not an option, portable lights and smaller systems can provide quick and lowcost options to bring services to households. But they offer limited service. Community mini-grid electrification systems represent a viable technical solution to provide electric power of equal availability, quality, and reliability as conventional grid supply with the option to engage a third party to undertake operation and management.

Biomass gasification is a thermo‐chemical process in which solid biomass is converted into a combustible gas. This gas can be used in a generator set for the production of electricity. Gasification is one of the renewable energy technologies suitable for rural electrification, as it can be applied on a small scale (from several kWe upwards), with a reasonable efficiency (typically more than 15%).

Recognizing the potential that the technology will find sufficient widespread application in future for electrifying isolated rural communities, Winrock International is planning to pilot few gasifier based community electrification projects in few off-grid rural areas of Nepal.

Project Objective

The major objective of the project is to pilot woody and leafy biomass gasification for rural community electrification.

Expected Sustainable Impact

  • Increased access to energy in the rural community and impacted at least 400 individuals through electrification.
  • Creation of enterprise at local level and improve the livelihood of the community
  • Local employment opportunity creation
  • Contribute to mitigate Climate change by reducing carbon emissions.
  • Indirect educational benefits and increase in income generating opportunities due to availability of more working hours and better quality lighting facility
  • Health benefits due to the reduction in indoor air pollution from kerosene