Interesting Fact
"The earth receives more energy from the sun in just one hour than the world uses in a whole year."
Solar Photovoltaic

In solar photovoltaic techhnology electricity is generated through the solar radiation.   PV modules or panels are made of soalr cell that allow sunlight to be converted directly into electricity. These solar cells are in fact large area semiconductor diode, which are made by combining silicon material with different impurities. The solar modules are safe, reloiable maintainence free and environmentally friendly. 

History of PV
1839 AD - Edmund Becquerel, the French experimental physicist, discovered the photovoltaic effect .
1876 – William Adams and R. Day discovered that the junctions of selenium and platinum also exhibit photovoltaic effect.
1877 – The first selenium soalr cell constructed.
1904 – Albert Einstein provided the theoretical explanation to photovoltaic effect.
1918 – Polish scientist Czohralski discovered the method for monoo crystalline silicon solar cell
1941 – The first silicon moni crstalline soalr cell was constructed.
1955 – Hoffman Electronics Semiconductor Division produced the first commerical photovoltaic with 2% efficiency.
1958 – The efficiency of the solar cell was increased to 9%.
1958 – The first PV powered artificial satelite of the earth, Vanguard I, with 0.1W solar cell occupying an area of approximately 100cm2 and powering a 5mW back-up tranmsmitter was launched. Three more PV powered satelite was launched in the same year.
1963 – Sharp company became the first company to develop the fisrt usble PV module.
1974 – The cost of PV power dropped doen to US$ 30/watt from US$ 1, 785/watt in 1955.
1980 – ACRO Soalr became the firstg manufacturer to produce PV modules with peak powe of 1MW.
1983 – World wide production of PV modules exceeded 21.3 MW with a business volume of 250 million US$
1999 – Total installed capacity of PV modules exceeded 1,000 MW worldwide.
2002 – Total installed capacity of PV power exceeded 2,000 MW and business volume of about 2 billion US$.

History in Nepal
The exact date of first use of soalr PV in Nepal can not be determined. However it is believed that the first PV module was used in the Bhadrapur Airport for navigational purpose in 1963.
1974 – Nepal Telecom (NTC) was the first organization to use Solar PV power to operate a high frequency transeiver located in Damauli.
1980 – NTC started massive use of solar PV power.  It has remained as the largest corporate user of PV. Total installed capacity exceeding 700 kWp.
1987 – ADB/N was using solar PV power to electrify its 100 branch offices.
1988 – Centralised electricity supply from PV started.
1988 – Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), with the assistance of French Government installed centralized solar PV power system in Simikot (50kWp)
1989 – NEA installed another centralised solar PV power system in Kodari/Tataopani (30kWp) and Gumgadhi (50kWp)
1991/1992 – Recorded use of solar PV power for domestic electrification. First solar PV company was established.
1993 – Successful launching of Pulimarang Village Electrification Project. After this use of PV for the rural electrtification gained the momentum.valley.
1995 – The first hightly subsidised (95%) 68 SHS  were installed at Chhaimale village in southern part of Kathmandu by Wisdom Light Groups Pvt. Ltd.
1996 – ADB/N provided 50% subsidy to install to 40 SHS at six VDCs in Kavrepalanchwok district, for the first time in Nepal.
2000 – Renewable energy subsidy policy, addressing the policy related to solar energy systems,  was announced by the government.

Solar Insolation in Nepal
Nepal has an abundant solar resources and evenly distributed throughout the country. Nepal has more than 300 sunny days in a year and the average insolatrion in Nepal is around 4.5kWh/m2/day at optimum tilt. It has came out as a viable option to meet electric energy demand, in an unelectrified rural Nepal.
Rural Electrification (lighting, TV etc.)
Water Pumping
Vaccine refrigerator
Powering the Navigation equipment.
Powering computers in offices and schools at remote areas.

There aremany advantages of PV electric system some of which are listed below.
• Safe, clean and quiet to operate
• Highly reliable
• Require virtually no maintenance
• They operate cost-effectively in remote areas and for many residential and commercial applications;
• flexible and can be expanded at any time to meet your electrical needs; and
Increased autonomy – independence
from the grid or backup during outages.

Subsidy Policy
The subsidy policy - Subsidy for Renewable Energy, 2003 addresses, among other RETs, the policy related to solar energy system.
The subsidy to solar energy related projects will be as mentioned below:

1. Solar Home System (SHS)

  • Subsidy will be provided to SHS of 1O wp, 20 wp and 30 wp or more from now onward.
  • The maximum subsidy for SHS of 30Wp capacity or more will be Rs 8,000 per system.
  • Additional 50% and 2.5% subsidy per SHS system will be provided to the users in more remote and remote village development committees (VDC) of districts respectively. The more remote and remote VDCs of the remote districts are as decided by the Ministry of Local Development (MOLD)/Government of Nepal and as notified in the Nepal Gazette part IV. The category "A" comprises of more remote VDCs, while category "B" represents remote VDCs.
  • The SHS lower than 30 Wp will also be provided subsidy. The amount will be 50% of its cost. but will not exceed Rs. 8000 per system.
  • The level of subsidy will be reduced each year at the rate of 10%.
  • The subsidy for SHS used by public institutions such as the VDC buildings school, Club, Health post/ Centre etc. will be as high as of 75% of the cost.

2. Solar Cooker
Considering usefulness of the solar cooker, the present subsidy rate will be continued. The subsidy will be 50% of its market value, but will not exceed Rs.3,750.
3. Solar Dryer
The solar dryers may have extensive use in the rural areas, taking into account its contribution to fuel wood saving and drying of agriculture products/food without quality deterioration. Solar dryers might contribute to rural household income, as well. So, the subsidy will also be provided to family sized solar dryers as well as the solar dryers which could use in commercial purposes.
The subsidy to family sized solar dryer will be provided up to 50% of its cost. In respect of commercial purpose dryers, if it is installed in the rural areas, the subsidy will be 70% of the cost. The additional facility will be provided to commercial dryer schemes to be installed in the remote areas.
4. Solar Water Pump
In order to encourage solar PV use in the productive activities, the, subsidy to solar pumps for the drinking water purposes in remote areas up to the capacity of 500 Wp will be 75% of its cost. AEPC will provide necessary technical support to such schemes.

Applying for Solar Subsidy
An Interim Rural Energy Fund (IREF) has been set up to administer the subsidy. Both SHS and institutional PV system qualifying for subsidy must adopt the following process for subsidy acquisition.

Solar Home System.

  • SSP will actively interface with different market actors and support for awareness raising.
  • End-users will negotiate conditions for credit financing with a suitable financial intermediaries (FI) for necessary complementary funds (loans).
  • End-users will sign contract with manufacturer of his/her choice and pay full price minus subsidy amount. If it is not a cash plant, s/he should sign a loan agreement with a FI for required financing.
  • Only CTEVT certified technician/s should install SHS.
  • After SHS installation, a Subsidy Application Form (SAF) should be sent to SSP and Installation Report jointly signed by end-user, technician and manufacture/supplier.
  • SAF also includes copy of Nepali citizenship certificate of the end-user,
  • The Data Processing Unit (DPU) enters the data into the Solar Energy MIS Database (SEMD) system, provided that the necessary informations are duly filled up.
  • SSP will screen and assess applications, and recommend for payment to the IREF.
  • In every payment of IREF, 10% amount will be retained (as retainer) kept as security for performance of after-sales service and repairs for the first year of installation.
  • Supplier will be obliged to carry out a 1st Year Service Check after one year of operation.
  • Suppliers and end-users will jointly sign 1st year After-Sales-Service (ASS) report stating that plant works satisfactorily and that user has received promised after-sale-services.
  • After receiving the ASS report, DPU will enter the data in the SEMD.
  • SSP then recommends to the IREF for release of the remaining 10% subsidy. IREF will release retained amount to the supplier.
  • SSP carries out field verification of randomly sampled SHSs installed in an annual basis.

Institutional PV Systems

  • In order to be eligible for subsidy, Institutional Solar Photovoltaic Systems must have gone through the feasibility study to make sure its institutional and operational sustainability through income and or benefits.
  • Solar energy Support Programme (SSP) will appraise the feasibility study.
  • SSP will recommend the project to the IREF for the approval of subsidy if deemed appropriate.
  • IREF will also appraise the feasibility study report based of HMG/N's subsidy arrangement and if deemed appropriate will give conditional or final approvable as may be necessary.
  • Subsidy will be paid after successful installation of the system, which will be verified by IREF through IREF, specified person/institution.

Solar PV Water Pumping Systems

  • For water pumping systems, AEPC is currently providing financial and technical services to limited number of systems.
  • End user group/community approaches SSP for such a support.
  • SSP carries out a detail feasibility of the project and if found feasible, a company is selected after due competition or quotation process.
  • AEPC pays 50% to 75% of the total subsidy (75% of the cost) against bank guarantee for implementation of the project.
  • After receiving the project completion report duly certified by end user group/community, the remaining amount of the subsidy is paid.
  • A field monitoring and verification takes place before payment of the balance amount.

More coming soon................