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Kamala Sarup: Sustainable Global Energy And Nepal

Sustainable Global Energy And Nepal


By Kamala Sarup

The price of a barrel of oil climb to new highs this year in Nepal. It is true, successful talks re energy pipeline with Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and china would help Nepal's energy development. Nepal is rich in water resources with a potential to produce about 83,000 MW. But we have so far generated less than 600 MW of hydropower.

An article written by BSS stated that the four countries of South Asia-Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan could solve their long run energy problem through cooperation by taking some other actions. All the countries in South-Asia are facing chronic shortages of electric power. The demand is much higher than supply. South- Asia is an important energy market with over 1.4 billion people - which is more than one-fifth of the world's population. In recent years, economic and population growth in South- Asia resulted in rapid increase in energy consumption. These countries are now faced with rapidly growing energy demand.

Even recently a Nepal Carbon Fair highlighting the path of sustainable development by reducing the dependence on the traditional forms of energy through the maximum utilization of the clean energy sources. And also executive Director of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre Dr. Madan Bahadur Basnet said that there is immense possibility of renewable energy development in Nepal and different CDM projects could be operated from it.

"There is a golden rule in politics energy and money: Never, ever let politicians control basic financial decisions. Markets and markets alone can do this rationally and efficiently. Politicians will always spend money like drunken sailors if it will buy them some extra love in the polls or some additional perceived power. That is what they do and who they are. They are not wise men and women as a class. They are masters of expediency and the quick fix, public good be damned.

What does all this have to do with energy policy? Quite a bit really. America has recently passed an energy bill after four years of political gridlock, that's four years of being unable to make a fairly simple decision. Welcome to politics".An American Journalist John Schrab said.

But worldwide growth, economic development, and all the other economies in the world do not depend, on the abilities of the American political class. Countries like China, and Japan were steadily growing and even Europe was making big changes, although not at the grand altitude of the European Union as planned. That came crashing down a bit earlier this year.

Worldwide energy needs are going to keep growing. This growth can be mitigated by economic downturns in the U.S. which will ripple worldwide including in Nepal. This will probably happen in 2006, as the rest of the world forces some financial discipline on America.

John further said " There must be an increase in energy production worldwide. This is already being done by the very huge international energy companies which are much more powerful than most governments. However, this alone will not be enough. There will also have to be a worldwide effort at some sort of conservation and alternate energy production. The conservation part means using energy more wisely and belt-tightening by consumers".

The next year, 2006, is going to be very crucial.

On this one, we Nepali people cannot leave it to the feckless politicians and their nutty agendas. The people of Nepal must insist on responsible political behavior on this one. The stakes are very, very high indeed and there is no time to lose. 2006 is almost here. We can all survive and prosper if we behave sensibly for a change.

Unfortunately, no one in the developed world bothered to really consult the developing world including in Nepal who relied on commodities, such as oil, metals, and produce, to fuel their economies. This arrogance and shortsightedness by European and American financial and political leaders quietly enraged those countries who controlled such things as oil (Saudi Arabia) and coffee (Brazil), etc. around the world. Unable to respond immediately, they bided their time. He further added.

*************

Kamala Sarup is an editor of peacejournalism.com


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