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Electricity in Nepal in 2021

Global Ranking: #85
68.8% #39 Low-carbon electricity
33.79 watts #180 Generation / person
148.26 gCO2eq/kWh #26 Carbon Intensity
31.2% net imports Electricity imports

As of 2021, the state of electricity consumption in Nepal shows that the country significantly falls behind the global average of 412 watts/person, with a total electricity consumption of a mere 34 watts per person. The majority of this electricity, constituting about 69%, can be deemed as low-carbon energy, with a notable concentration on hydropower which contributes approximately 68% of the total electricity consumption. The harnessing of solar and wind energy is almost negligible, contributing a scant 1.26% and 0.12% respectively. This rather low level of electricity consumption and generation in Nepal, especially when compared with the global average, can potentially deal a blow to the nation's overall industrial and economic growth. Moreover, it's evident that a considerable portion, almost a third, of Nepal's electricity consumption is buoyed by net imports.


Taking cues from countries with notable low-carbon electricity generation, Nepal can accelerate its clean energy production. Countries such as Denmark and Sweden have achieved great strides in harnessing wind energy, almost 369 and 363 watts per person respectively. Nepal, with its mountainous terrain and constant wind flow, certainly has the potential to emulate this success. Similarly, solar energy has been effectively utilized in countries like Australia, contributing to 147 watts per person of their total electricity. As Nepal has substantial days of sunshine, it can lean towards amplifying its solar energy production. Another strategic approach could be tapping into nuclear energy. countries like Sweden, France, and Finland have successfully adopted nuclear energy, all exceeding 500 watts per person, illuminating an even wider scope for low-carbon energy in Nepal.


Historically, development for low-carbon electricity in Nepal, notably hydropower, has seen consistent, but mild growth since the 1990s, with several fluctuations. The period of 1990 to 2004 saw steady and consistent growth in hydropower, with the generation rising annually, albeit marginally. 1997, however, witnessed a slight decline in power generation. The subsequent years, up to 2015, also experienced a slow, yet somewhat consistent increase in hydropower generation. Notably, there was a substantial decrease in the hydropower electricity generation in 2015, a reflection of the repercussions of the devastating earthquake that hit the nation that year. Since then, there has been a significant boost in hydropower generation with the most substantial increase, by 1.3 TWh, recorded in 2019. However, the year 2021 marked a minor decline in this otherwise upward trend.

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.