Making further inroads into Nepal, China has set up a solar power generating system which is now illuminating the famous Singha Durbar – the government’s main administrative building complex which also houses the Prime Minister’s Office. China had in January donated over 32,000 solar power generating systems to Nepal to enhance its domestic capacity and to provide electricity to communities, who had been without power since the devastating 2015 earthquake. Under the China-aided Solar Photovoltaic Project, solar panels have been installed on the roof of 21 buildings of the Singha Durbar which included the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy, among others.
The project, which started in November 2016, was completed in 14-months time. One megawatt electricity generated through solar panels have started illuminating the central administrative offices from yesterday, officials said today. Nepal’s Prime Minister, KP Sharma Oli and Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Yu Hong yesterday jointly inaugurated the solar power generating system installed at the central secretariat of the Nepali government. Oli stressed that the solar technology was important and crucial for the mountain country like Nepal for the modernisation of agriculture and the operation of small and large scale industries.
“It is necessary for Nepal to end dependence on traditional electricity sources for energy needs. Though we are rich in water resources, sole dependence on hydropower is costly. Thus, we are focusing on renewable energy,” the prime minister said. “Solar energy is important for the mountainous country like Nepal in terms of efficiency and cost. I am thankful to China for the construction of this solar photovoltaic project in a short period of time and hopeful that this project can work as a model project for other areas,” Oli was quoted as saying by the China’s state-run news agency Xinhua. The power generated by the around Rs 600 million project would be linked to the national grid, according to officials.
Oli said that once such programmes were expanded to other places, it could help boost development in the country. Solar energy is very useful for the geographically diverse country like Nepal, the Prime Minister said adding that such projects of mutual benefit would take Nepal-China bilateral relations to a new height. China and Nepal have agreed to start technical works to build a cross-border railway link via Tibet to boost connectivity. Apart from these, Nepal has become part of Beijing’s ambitious Border and Roads Intiative.
The Chinese Ambassador said that cooperation between China and Nepal was for the development and prosperity, and the launch of the solar light project was the latest example. “I hope that this project will become a model project for Nepal to expand energy supply channels, strengthen electricity supply security and realize green development,” Yu said. “The Chinese government has been engaged in efforts to help Nepal realise electricity development and will continue to provide assistance and support within its capacity the economic and social development of the country,” the Chinese envoy was quoted as saying by Xinhua.