Nepal Parliament approves ratification for Framework Agreement related to International Solar Alliance

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Kathmandu, Jun 8 (PTI) Nepal’s House of Representatives has passed a proposal seeking ratification of a framework agreement related to the membership of the International Solar Alliance that will help the Himalayan nation increase usage of solar power in its effort to combat the impact due to changing climate.

The House of Representatives (HoR), or the Lower House on Thursday endorsed the proposal tabled by Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet through a majority vote.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilise efforts against climate change through the deployment of solar energy solutions and announced on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at Paris in 2015.

With the amendment of its Framework Agreement in 2020, all member states of the United Nations are eligible to join the ISA. At present, 119 countries, including Nepal, are signatories to the ISA Framework Agreement, of which 98 countries have submitted the necessary instruments of ratification to become full members of the ISA.

Responding to queries raised by lawmakers from various political parties, Basnet said that the agreement was tabled in keeping with the national interest of the country as clean energy is essential for minimising the impacts of climate change.

“The installation of solar energy will be important for Nepal’s development,” he pointed out and informed the House that the government has already moved the process for the generation of 1,000 MW through solar power in the next couple of years.

A competitive bidding for Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) has already started for the same and bidding for PPA of 800 MW has already opened, he added.

Rajendra Khatrichhetri, a lawmaker belonging to opposition Nepali Congress, welcomed the government’s move as he said, “This is a good proposal as it will provide cheap and affordable energy to the general public and also helps to minimise the impacts of climate change.” Currently, Nepal has 13 projects generating 68.38 MW of solar power, according to Nepal’s Energy Development Department. In September 2023, Nepal announced that it plans to develop 30,000 MW of electricity by 2035 and would club hydropower and solar power. PTI SBP NPK AKJ NPK NPK