Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (RERL)

RERL extends rural communities’ access to renewable sources of clean energy by helping them install and manage micro-hydro plants and Renewable Energy Technologies to develop associated enterprises.

Despite the great increase over the past two decades in the number of households with access to electricity, still about 30% of Nepal’s total population does not have  access (as of 2011). Population without access to electricity in rural area is 30 times more than that of urban area. Alongside this, in Nepal about 85% of total energy consumed comes from traditional biomass such as fuelwood, agricultural residues and cattle dung. This continued reliance on traditional resources depletes the forests of trees and farmers’ fields of natural fertilisers. Even in urban areas, people have to face load shedding for up to 14 hours a day. On the other hand, there is a rapid growth in consumption of fossil fuels in transportation, industrial, commercial and domestic sectors draining hard earned foreign currency and causing huge trade deficits. The lack of national energy generation capacity and the importance of conserving the environment and balancing the trade regime are the reasons Nepal’s government gives priority to provide decentralized clean and renewable sources of energy to rural areas.

read more

What have we accomplished so far

  • In 2014, the Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihoods project was able to provide access to electricity to over 8,300 households (45,900 people), through installation of 26 micro-hydro plants, producing 766 kW of energy in total.

  • To date, an estimated 286,300 people have access to improved energy as a result of UNDP supported interventions.

  • UNDP also supported 500 local level entrepreneurs to engage in business activities in coordination with Cottage and Small Industry Development Board for rural energy based medium small and micro enterprise promotion. It also supported various community initiatives, such as installation and operation of a tea dryer and pilot water lifting project.

  • UNDP also contributed to the revision of the Government’s current Subsidy Policy to include specific support to private sector and larger renewable energy systems. This is expected to boost private sector contributions and involvement in the promotion of renewable energy.

Latest Updates

  • Xu talks to community members about the improvement brought about by access to renewable energy. Photo: Narendra Shrestha / UNDP Nepal

    Access to energy improves lives, livelihoods

    19 May, 2014 (Kathmandu) — Energy poverty is a serious challenge in developing countries that condemns nearly 1.3 billion people to absolute poverty. Lack of accessmore

  • Electricity: Source of Happiness to the Rural People

    Electricity: Source of Happiness to the Rural People

    With the implementation of the Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP), a joint initiative of His Majesty's Government of Nepal and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP),more

Project Overview


Project duration:
April 2011 to June 2014

Geographic coverage:
31 districts of Nepal

Focus Area:
Environment and Energy

Implemented by:
The Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment

Cost Sharing Organisations:
AEPC, The World Bank, District Development Committees (DDCs), Village Development Committees (VDCs) and communities

UNDP focal point:
Anupa Rimal Lamichhane
CCPA, UNDP, UN House, POB 107
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: 00-977-1-5523200
Fax: 00-977-1-5523991

Project focal point:
Satish Gautam
Programme Manager
Tel: 00-977-1-5547609