Darbang Nepal – a local sustainable energy scheme

Darbang is a small community in the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal, located between Kathmandu and the Tibetan border. The area has been traditionally occupied by subsistence farmers, with some rearing of livestock. A micro-hydro scheme has been constructed with the support of the World Bank and came into operation in 2009.   

The main characteristics of a micro-hydro scheme

The main characteristics of a micro-hydro scheme

Why was a local, sustainable energy scheme introduced in Darbang?

The micro-hydro scheme was introduced in the Darbang because:

  • economic growth is restricted in this remote settlement in the foothills of the Himalayas
  • there is a lack of electricity in the area
  • roads are impassable during the monsoon season
  • there is a low population density
  • it was uneconomic to construct an electricity grid

What are the main features of the scheme?

The main features of the scheme include:

  • it was government-funded
  • a low-cost energy solution at US$51,000
  • the project was supported by the World Bank
  • it would solve the energy deficit in the region

What are the benefits of the scheme?

The benefits of the scheme include:

  • the low maintenance and running costs
  • 700 households have a reliable energy supply
  • small environmental impact
  • local materials and labour were used
  • reduced the risk of flooding in the area
  • deforestation for fuel has reduced
  • the project is community-owned
  • since becoming operational in 2009 there has been an influx of industry including furniture workshops, noodle factory and cement block manufacturer
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