Attempts to promote rural development to eradicate poverty must include efforts to ensure energy supply in rural area, not an end in itself but as an integral component. Ensuring basic human needs lies at the core of the rural development concerns, and energy services to rural people should be one of the central objectives. Following are the major challenges in Nepal to integrate energy and rural development.
Overcoming lack of scale and difficulty of access
The small scale and wide geographical spread of rural settlements pose particular problems for meeting their development needs.
Satisfying basic and productive energy needs
The high incidence of rural poverty and low-income levels of the rural people mean that satisfying basic energy needs is much more critical in the rural context.
Meeting energy needs of the poor
The real challenge in meeting the energy needs of the rural poor is, of course, to remove or mitigate the conditions that perpetuate poverty.
Developing energy self-reliance
There are limits beyond which self-sufficiency cannot be pursued; economic development can strengthen rural self-reliance by providing the means to access different energy options.
Managing rural energy transitions
Modernizing rural energy supplies means a higher degree of monetization of rural energy markets and of rural economies as a whole.
Enhancing energy technology absorption capabilities
Rural energy users are required to not only adopt sophisticated technologies, but to also learn to operate, maintain and utilize them effectively. Equipping them to accept such multiplicity of roles is a major aspect of rural energy development.
Ensuring the sustainability of biomass energy sources
This call for a close understanding of the interrelationship between biomass production processes and end-use activities, both for energy and non-energy applications, also, more importantly, land use changes.