In 1960 less than one percent of Nepal’s population had access to electricity. As of 2023, 60 years later, the World Bank reports that nearly 95 percent of Nepalis have access. Today, the hydropower sector is a success story, with a vibrant electricity industry and highly skilled expertise within educational and research institutions. From 1 MW in 1963, installed capacity within hydropower has increased to more than 2,600 MW by 2023.
However there is still a considerable effort remaining to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, such as eliminating poverty, providing universal access to clean energy, and sustainable industrialization and infrastructure development. Today, despite high rates of access to electricity, overall energy consumption continues to be dominated by use of biomass, such as fuelwood, agricultural residue, and animal waste, and 60 percent of the population is directly involved in agriculture.
Installed hydropower capacity still constitute a small share of the estimated 40,000 MW hydropower potential.
The energy sector cooperation between Nepal and Norway began in the 1960s, long before diplomatic relations were initiated in the 1970s. This report describes the main achievements of a long-standing cooperation.
The report is available here.
Read more about the publication by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation here.