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AD in Nepal: mitigating blackouts

Innovation doesn’t necessarily need to focus on ground-breaking leaps in research or technology: it can be things in a different way or in a new location. This is true in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.

The proposal to build an AD and waste management plant is a first-of-its-kind for Nepal. The project is funded by the EU and will be built in Teku,  Kathmandu. The project is being implemented in the Kathmandu valley and will impact 5 cities including the capital, equating to around 4 million people. In recent years, the valley has been a steep increase in population and subsequently has seen in increase in solid waste, of which 63% is biological waste.

Kathmandu is one of the most polluted cities in the world, ranking number three on numbeo. Speaking to Sebastien Maupas, co-lead at the Nepal Innovation Lab and co-founder of HandsUp, the primary focus in Kathmandu may not be environmental despite impressive regulations to protect forests as an example but finding alternate sources of energy that do not rely on imported fuels. However, biogas from AD will be very important for communities due to its uses as a combustible fuel for cooking. Biofuels are a safer and healthier form of cooking fuel as opposed to wood which issued by 76% of the Nepalese population [1]. To see further information about health implications from woodfuel here.

Along site providing fuel for cooking, the AD plant will also help significantly towards mitigating against major blackouts; this is the primary goal of the plant. Earlier this year the Nepal Electricity Authority increased load shedding from 77 hours to 86 hours [2] which means people will be without electricity for longer. In this situation AD is the innovative solution which will help with these blackouts.

The city plans to process 300 tonnes of degradable waste every day to generate 14 kW of power daily. This power will be used for street lighting, increasing road and street safety [3]. If this plant is successful Gangadhar Gautam, KMC Office Environmental Administration Division Chief hope that further plants would be built.

At ADBA we are keen to hear about any research and innovation relating to AD, if you have any ideas or topics which could be discussed please contact Emma Thomas.




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