Proponents of Nepal’s solar energy need to move away from the traditional priority given to techno-centric strategies to find ways to efficiently use up the excess energy. As of August 2019, Nepal had already installed 1,600 solar irrigation systems worth $8 million all over the country. More than 75% of these were financed by the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), an apex body on renewables promoting solar irrigation under the Renewable Energy Subsidy Policy (2016) and Subsidy Delivery Mechanism Guidelines (2016). Collectively, these systems irrigate 550 hectares of farmland and generate 2.5 megawatt of energy. In a nation where only a quarter of the 3.5 million hectares of cultivable land is irrigated, and two-thirds of farms depend on the rains, solar irrigation systems are crucial for expanding acreage. There is great potential for solar irrigation systems as a solution to food security for smallholders because it can increase agricultural production to keep pace with food demand while at the same time adapting to changes in weather patterns due to climate change.
Here is the link to the full research article written by MinErgy, Sunbridge and ASU