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Electricity in Nepal in 2021

Global Ranking: #132
68.8% #43 Low-carbon electricity
33.79 watts #180 Generation / person
148.26 gCO2eq/kWh #32 Carbon Intensity

In 2021, Nepal produced just over 6 TWh of electricity from low-carbon sources, virtually all of which was generated by hydropower. Despite covering their own needs with hydropower and importing nearly 3 TWh, the Himalayan nation falls significantly short of the global average consumption of 410 watts per person. This emanates from low levels of electricity generation that hinder Nepal's growth and development, given that a steady and abundant supply of electricity is essential for a wide range of activities, from powering industries and providing lighting to promoting education and healthcare.


Emulating successful countries could help Nepal boost its low-carbon electricity generation. Countries such as China, the United States, France, and India have shown that low-carbon electricity generation can be substantial using wind, solar, and nuclear energy. For example, China generated most of its low-carbon electricity from wind and solar power, producing 964 TWh and 523 TWh, respectively. Given its similar geographical features, Nepal could also harness wind and solar power more extensively. The success of India's solar initiative, generating 120 TWh, could also prove instructive for Nepal, given both countries share a similar topography and climate.


The history of low-carbon electricity in Nepal has been shaped primarily by hydropower, with significant growth over the years. In the 1990s, hydropower generation increased steadily, albeit at a modest pace of around 0.2 TWh annually. The new century saw a continuation of this trend, with a slight increase in annual growth but an interruption in 2015 due to a significant decline. However, hydropower bounced back in the subsequent years, reaching an all-time high in 2019 with an impressive addition of 1.3 TWh. The last data point from 2021 marked a small decline, indicating the need to diversify into other low-carbon sources to ensure sustainability and resilience in the power grid.

Electricity Imports and Exports

Balance of Trade

Data Sources

For the years 1980 to 1989 the data sources are EIA and IEA (imports/exports).
For the years 1990 to 1999 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2000 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2001 the data source is IEA.
For the year 2002 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2003 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2004 to 2013 the data source is Ember.
For the year 2014 the data source is IEA.
For the years 2015 to 2021 the data source is Ember.
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