A national level sharing workshop on Photovoltaic Water Pumping Systems for Irrigation

A national level sharing workshop on Photovoltaic Water Pumping Systems for Irrigation was convened on Wednesday 4th May 2016, Hotel Himalaya, Lalitpur, Nepal. The workshop was organized by Winrock International in collaboration with Alternative Energy Promotion Center.  Around 60 people from government offices, private sector, various farmer’s associations, banks and cooperatives, donors and I/NGOs attended the workshop.

The workshop was organized to share achievements and learnings of “Accelerated Commercialization Solar Photovoltaic Water Pumping” (AC-PVWP) project implemented by Winrock International and funded by USAID. The workshop was an opportunity for private sector to showcase their business and financial models for scaling their operations and highlight their achievements in technology development and dissemination of PVWP systems.

Mr. Binod Prasad Shrestha, Director-REPSO, Winrock International opened the workshop, welcomed the participants and shared the background of the AC-PVWP project. Mr. Shanker K. Khagi, Environment and Energy Specialist of USAID made his remark stressing important of solar irrigation for partial eradicating of food deficit in the country and improving livelihood of farmers.The outcomes and experience of this project lay a basis for inputs to upcoming Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy for deriving subsidy mechanism for PVWP irrigation system.

The first session included presentations by Ms. Resha Piya, Senior Program Officer, Winrock International Ms. Piya shared the successes and challenges of commercialization of PVWP system for irrigation in Nepal. This presentation was followed by private sectors initiatives sharing. SunFarmer, Gham Power Nepal, Suryodaya Urja Pvt. Ltd. and Nepal Agriculture Cooperative Central Federation Ltd. respectively discussed their field based business and financial models of PVWP systems.

The second session included presentation by Mr. Monaj Pantha, Engineer, Department of Irrigation, who focused on criteria and roles of Department of Irrigation for large scale irrigation scheme through PVWP systems. Mr. Mukesh Ghimire, Solar Manager, Alternative Energy Promotion Centre, then presented and discussed the relevant government policies and plans on PVWP system for irrigation in Nepal. Mr. Ghimire highlighted that this workshop is conducted at the right time, as the government of Nepal is currently formulating Renewable Energy Subsidy Delivery Mechanism. The workshop, as Mr. Ghimire stressed is an effective forum to further provide inputs to the delivery mechanism of PVWP system for irrigation.

The closing session included remarks from Mr. Dev Raj Niraula, Project Coordinator, Non-Conventional Irrigation Technology Project – Department of Irrigation, who acknowledged the efforts made by Winrock International for linking several partners working in promotion of PVWP systems. Mr. Bikash Pandey, Lead –Thought Leadership Clean Energy,, Winrock International concluded the workshop by highlighting the importance in promoting small irrigation facility for smallholdings farmers through PVWP which considerably, as few pilot projects showed, to their productivity and self-reliance.