Challenges for Nepal’s Energy Security and Opportunities of Sustainable Energy

Presentation slides and Panel Discussion outcomes

Session on “Challenges for Nepal’s energy security and opportunities of sustainable energy development” at the Symposium on “Responding to Development Priorities of Nepal”, Hotel Himalaya, Kathmandu.

Energy security of Nepal has multiple dimensions. Energy availability, adequacy, reliability (uninterrupted availability and quality) and affordability are key tenants of energy security. National electrification rate of Nepal was 76% in 2013 with over 7 million people yet without connection to electricity let alone adequacy and reliability issues. Nepal’s 80% of population relies on biomass-based solid fuel for cooking (IEA Energy Access Database, 2016) that has health and other sustainability implications. The energy security has also wider national implication as country has only domestic production of 865 MW in 2015-end (WECS, 2017) with estimated peak capacity demand of 1,721 MW and fully dependent on import of the foreign petroleum products (184 million litres of Gasoline, 950 million litres of diesel, 12 million litres of Kerosene and 166 thousand tons of LPG in 2014/15) which has recently seen severe supply-interruptions that has exposed the extent of severe vulnerability of Nepal. Sustainable energy development, which has large potential in Nepal from hydro and other renewables, has multiple benefits- they not only address the energy access but also open up opportunities for electricity based transport options that reduce dependency on imported petroleum products, and promote energy trade. This further can create job, reduce pollution, generate revenue through energy trade and provide vital energy inputs necessary for sustained economic growth.



Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal speaks to deliberations organized by UNEP’s International Resources Panel

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal participated as a panelist for an open symposium on 15th March and delivered talk titled “Available data sets for urban carbon and resources studies *click to access presentation file*” to the closed workshop on 16th March in UNEP’s International Resources Panel (IRP) organized Scientific Dialogue and Expert Workshop “Decoupling in Cities in Asia: An Infrastructure Transition Perspective” at Jintai Hotel in Beijing (15-17 March 2017).

The overarching goal of the workshop was to communicate the findings of the UNEP/IRP’s Resource Requirements for Future Urbanization Report (REFURB) and customize the findings to Asian cities.

The meeting was hosted by China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Center, Beijing was attended by scholars from USA, Australia, China, and Europe.

New book by Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal “Creating Low Carbon Cities” by Springer. Click for Free Access

Springer released a new book titled “Creating Low Carbon Cities” co-edited by Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal (AIT, Thailand) and Prof. Matthias Ruth (Northeastern University, Boston). See details here:

Springer has kindly provided Free Access of the book from this link:

“The low carbon cities agenda is of bold ambition and demands rapid societal transformation. This book provides invaluable information and analysis on how the goals of this agenda can be achieved and what will be the significant obstacles in the way. The content in the book goes below the surface to reveal on-the-ground economic, engineering and equity issues that are at the heart of the Paris Climate Agreement and the ensuing policy debates. In this way, Creating Low Carbon Cities serves as a critical scholarly benchmark and as a toolkit for further action.” William Solecki, Professor, Institute for Sustainable Cities, City University of New York

Creating Low Carbon Cities provides a refreshingly critical approach to low-carbon urban development, what has been achieved so far and the challenges ahead. It will be an important data-driven resource for local leaders, sustainability practitioners and urban planners.”- Ms. Monika Zimmermann, Deputy Secretary General, ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability

About the book: This 16 chapter book authored by key scholars, addresses key topics in the current deliberations and debates on low carbon cities that are underway globally. Contributions by experts from around the world focus on the key factors required for creating low carbon cities. These include appropriate infrastructure, ensuring co-benefits of climate actions, making best use of knowledge and information, proper accounting of emissions, and social factors such as behavioral change. Readers will gain a better understanding of these drivers and explore potential transformation pathways for cities. Particular emphasis is given to the current situation of energy consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the urban level, stressing the complexity of measuring GHG emissions from cities. Chapters also shed new light on the long-term transformation pathways towards low carbon. This book discusses key challenges and opportunities in all these domains to aid in creating low carbon cities, making it of value to policy makers, researchers in academia and consultants working on climate change and energy issues.

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal presents IPCC AR5’s key findings on Human Settlements and Climate Change at a IPCC co-organized Intl Conference in Kathmandu

Human Settlements, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning was a new chapter in IPCC 5th Assessment Report. Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal, as Coordinating Lead Author (CLA) of this assessment, presented its key findings to the International Conference on Understanding Climate Change and Enabling Climate Action in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, Kathmandu, Nepal, 10 – 13 April 2017. The Conference was jointly organized by International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Ministry of Population and Environment of Nepal, and the IPCC. The PowerPoint slides are available here.

Dr. Dhakal also serves as a Coordinating Lead Author of ongoing HIMAP Assessment’s Energy Related Assessment for Hindu Kush Himalayan Region whose preliminary findings were also presented at the Conference.

Conference web-site: http:/here/


Trump’s 100 days in office: My appeal in ‘The Conversation’

As the US president rounds the bend of his first 100 days, The Conversation Global has invited scientists from Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Europe to explain why climate change is real, and how it’s impacting life where they live.

Here is my take.

“If the current US administration reverses Obama-era environmental efforts and pushes fossil fuels domestically, it will set Asia and the world on a dangerous, possibly irreversible path. It will also erode the credibility of the United States when it makes international commitments and damage much-needed American leadership in science and the environment.

Climate change is anthropogenic, and changes are already evident. Business as usual is a scientifically well-stated concern. We have a chance to keep global temperatures at under 2°C from pre-industrial levels if we act fast and stick together. I sincerely hope the Trump administration will give this crisis more serious thought.”

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal participates to IPCC AR6 Scoping Meeting in Adis Ababa, 1-5 May 2017

Towards a new IPCC Assessment: 200 invited scientists have gathered at UN Economic Commission for Africa in Adis Ababa, May 1-5, to propose the framework, chapter titles and the outline of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to be published in 2021/22. The decision on the outline will be taken at IPCC Plenary in Montreal in Sept 2017.


Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal was invited to deliberate, especially on Working Group III (mitigation) and among others, the urban and human settlements, and infrastructure. He was Coordinating Lead Author in AR5 and led its assessment on mitigation and human settlements.

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal at the High-Level Panel on “Sustainable Cities and Communities” at Vienna Energy Forum, 11 May 2017

Vienna Energy Forum 2017, a key global energy forum with 1,650 registered participants and about 50 speakers.

High-level sessions of Vienna Energy Forum took place on 11 and 12 May at the Hofburg Palace. Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal was invited to participate to High Level Panel on “Sustainable Cities and Communities“.


Dr. Dhakal highlighted the needs to address infrastructure lock-in  rapidly urbanizing regions, cross-boundary linkages of cities, governance mis-matches and to focus on systemic and long-term solutions. Urban energy is central to SDGs and, given the scale of sustainability challenges, the incremental solutions are no longer enough, transformative solutions are the must.

8 June 2017: Dr. Shobhakar deliberates future of coal in Asia in Singapore.

Coal powered industrial revolution but now marginalized by rapidly rising renewable market, gas and seems to be loosing ground. In the era of clean energy revolution, does coal has future? Is coal going to stay in niche sectors and application or find new momentum? Asia is a new growing coal market, especially China, India, Indonesia, and emerging energy consumers such as Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines. Will coal find ways, at least for the short-medium term? These are timely and important question.

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal participated in a deliberation on future of coal in Asia, titled “Coal in Asia: The Challenge for Policy and the Promise of Markets”, organized by King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) of Saudi Arabia in Singapore Hilton Hotel on 8th June. Details here The workshop was aimed to understand the drivers of coal consumption from an Asian perspective and understand how energy policy objectives and environmental policies are being balanced. The three key questions were:

(1) What are the impact of COP21 and how do Asian countries work with these new regulatory regimes?

(2) Increased Asian coal consumption will mean that the coal industry will increasingly be focused on the Asian markets. What are the regional views in terms of supply and demand scenarios and their impact on the seaborne coal markets?

(3) How will policy play a role in ensuring supply and balance in the markets?

Review and comments solicited for HIMAP Assessment on “Meeting Future Energy Needs in Hindu Kush Himalaya”

We welcome your review and comments (before 28 July 2017) to our HIMAP Assessment on “Meeting Future Energy Needs in the Hindu Kush Himalaya”, available as Chapter 6 of HIMAP Assessment. Please upload your completed review to the Open Review Forum page on the HIMAP (; Energy Chapter:

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal is one of the Coordinating Lead Authors of this Assessment.

What is Hindu Kush Himalayan Monitoring and Assessment Programme (HIMAP) Assessment ( HKH region is seen as ‘a data gap’ area, lacking consistent long-term monitoring in IPCC Assessments. IPCC reports calls for national, regional and global attention towards filling this data gap. HIMAP consolidates the existing data and the information, which are too fragmented and incomplete, to derive meaningful conclusions about trends and scenarios. HIMAP is an evidence-based assessment which brings together hundreds of scientists and policy experts. This assessment assesses the current state of knowledge of the HKH region, addresses critical data gaps and increase the understanding of various drivers of change and their impacts. Based on the assessment, HIMAP recommends a set of practically oriented policy recommendations.

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal to co-chair Scientific Steering Committee of IPCC sponsored global Conference on Cities and Climate Change Science (March 5-7, 2018, Edmonton, Canada)

Dr. Shobhakar Dhakal to co-chair Scientific Steering Committee of the 2018 CitiesIPCC Conference (Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, Edmonton, Canada, March 5-7, 2018).


The conference aims to inspire the next frontier of research focused on the science of cities and climate change. The primary goal of the conference is to assess the state of academic and practice-based knowledge related to cities and climate change, and to establish a global research agenda based on the joint identification of key gaps by the academic, practitioner and urban policy-making communities. The conference seeks to forge stronger partnerships among these communities and catalyze new processes for joint knowledge production; connect existing data platforms and potentially initiate new ones; as well as catalyze funding to meet these goals. It will bring together representatives from academia, scientific bodies, other research organizations and agencies; member states of the United Nations; city and regional governments; and urban and climate change practitioners and policy-makers. The main aims are to improve scientific knowledge and to stimulate research underpinning effective and efficient urban responses to climate change, as well as to provide inputs to the products of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Conference Objectives: The overall objectives of the “Cities and Climate Change Science Conference: Fostering new scientific knowledge for cities based on science, practice and policy” are to:

  • identify key research and knowledge gaps with regard to cities and climate change
  • inspire global and regional research that will lead to peer-reviewed publications and scientific reports, co-designed and co-produced knowledge leading to effective and inclusive urban practices
  • stimulate research on Cities and Climate Change during the AR6 cycle