Context and Brief History of the Project
Nepal's overall energy requirement for both domestic and industrial purposes has increased substantially, with the recent rapid urbanization and expansion of businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and brick industries. At present these industries rely heavily on imported fossil fuels (e.g. cooking gas, kerosene, coal, etc.), despite substantial increase in their prices in the past few years. It increases the carbon emission – carbon dioxide gas in the environment. On the other hand, some charcoal producing enterprises have started to respond to increases in energy demand by producing and supplying bio-briquette and charcoal – as alternative to cooking gas, kerosene and coal.
Removal of weeds, shrubs and twigs in forests and agro-forest land are considered to be unwanted biomass and it is taken as business opportunity to produce charcoal for bio-energy use. This has two folds results; one is to meet the increasing energy demand replacing environmentally hazardous fossil fuels. Secondly, it helps to reduce carbon emissions and create additional local employment. Moreover, it will help increase the value of forests, trees, shrubs and other woody perennials. It is in this context the project fully alignment with government policy of reducing green gas emission, productive management of forest resources and generate local employment and enterprising.
Additionally, it will increase local and national economic benefit by increasing income through rural employment of under employed population, and reducing the import of kerosene, cooking gascand coal through import substitution. Involvement of national level associations, federations and government agencies of the bio-energy sub-sector will contribute to disseminate the learning for scaling–up the actions beyond targeted 11 districts.