Infrastructure Development (water, energy, and hydropower)
Infrastructure policy considerations in Nepal mainly pertain to access (i.e. roads) and energy (i.e. hydropower). While Nepal’s road network is expanding dramatically, energy supplies are not. Nepal has a current installed capacity of just over 1,000 MW, compared to an estimated potential of over 40,000 MW. Without a corresponding increase in energy availability, increased access has not translated into broad-based economic growth. A study by the Government of Nepal in 2014 identified inadequate electricity supply as one of four key constraints to growth; energy availability could help spur industrial activity and provide important government revenue from electricity sales.
Historically, analysis and planning in the water resources sector has focused on technology. However, overcoming barriers to hydropower development will require more careful analysis and planning from a political-economic perspective, taking into consideration macroeconomic and geopolitical issues. Clearer and more effective policy frameworks are necessary for harnessing large-scale investment in hydropower. Consideration of other uses of, and issues pertaining to rivers – such as irrigation and flood control – are also needed. Niti Foundation provides advisory services and convenes myriad interest groups to facilitate collaborative problem-solving in the field of energy infrastructure development and investment.