An orientation program on Renewable Energy, Solar Water Pumping and Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy 2016

An orientation program on Renewable Energy, Solar Water Pumping and Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy 2016 to branch managers of Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Cooperative Co. Ltd. (Sahara Nepal) has been successfully organized by Winrock International in Biratnagar from 25th to 26th June, 2016 at Hotel AsiaTique. In total 42 participants from Sahara Nepal and one participant from ACE Development Bank participated in the program. Sahara Nepal Saving and Credit Cooperative Co. Ltd. is a partner organization of Winrock International for FMO and CleanStart projects. Sahara Nepal has more than 98,000 members and presently provides credit to its members to install renewable energy technologies like solar home systems, improved cook stoves and biogas. The cooperative currently is searching for opportunities to invest in new renewable energy technologies and expand its market.

At the orientation program, Ms. Resha Piya, Senior Program Officer, Winrock International, presented the scope of new technologies in solar energy sector. Ms. Piya gave examples of Photovoltaic Water Pumping (PVWP) Systems, Solar Mini grid, urban solar, solar thermal technologies which can be potential loan products for Sahara Nepal.  She also briefed about the Accelerated Commercialization of Photovoltaic Water Pumping (AC-PVWP) project currently implemented by Winrock International with support of USAID and presented various business models derived under this project. At the end, she stressed the point that with appropriate financial mechanism in place diesel water pumps can be easily replaced by PVWP systems for irrigation and livestock watering.

Similarly, Mr. Avishek Malla, Director, SunFarmer, highlighted technical details of PVWP technology, available business and financial models at the market, associated cost PVWP technology. The video of solar water pumping systems installed by SunFarmer has been shown to participants. Mr. Malla expressed wishes of his company to partner and collaborate with Sahara Nepal to promote PVWP system among its members. Mr. Rabin Shrestha, Assistant Program Officer, Winrock International, shared technological developments in clean cooking stoves and demonstrated two types of prefabricated clean cook stoves.

At the end of the program, managers of Sahara Nepal showed their keen interest to have a new technologies presented, as potential loan products to its members as was shared, these technologies could play a vital role in increasing productivity of the irrigated land and therefore income of their farmer members.

The orientation program was followed by field visit to PVWP system installed at Haripur -5 Saptari where officials observed practical demonstration of solar pumping project for irrigation and interacted with farmers on its technical performance and socio-economic benefits.