Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (GEF-RERL): Final Evaluation

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Evaluation Plan:
2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
07/2019
Completion Date:
10/2019
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
30,000

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Title Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (GEF-RERL): Final Evaluation
Atlas Project Number: 00076958
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022, Nepal
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 10/2019
Planned End Date: 07/2019
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Poverty
  • 2. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Output 1.5.1 Solutions adopted to achieve universal access to clean, affordable and sustainable energy
  • 2. Output 3.5.1 Energy access re-established for crisis-affected populations, with a focus on gender-sensitive, risk-informed and sustainable recovery
SDG Goal
  • Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
SDG Target
  • 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
  • 7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
  • 7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programmes of support
Evaluation Budget(US $): 30,000
Source of Funding: Project Budget
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 28,442
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Jan Van den Akker International Consultant
Dhruba Gautam National Consultant
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title: Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihoods (RERL)
Evaluation Type: Terminal Evaluation
Focal Area: Climate Change
Project Type: FSP
GEF Phase: GEF-5
GEF Project ID: 4345
PIMS Number: 4522
Key Stakeholders: UNDP, Alternative Energy Promotion Center, Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Civil Society, External Development Partners
Countries: NEPAL
Lessons
Findings
1.

3. FINDINGS: PROJECT DESIGN AND STRATEGY

Next in this report follows an overview of the evaluation findings. Due to the size of the main text it has been divided over three chapters that cover a) project design & formulation, b) project implementation, and c) project results and sustainability. The findings are based around a number of evaluative criteria and questions (originally formulated in the Inception report and slightly re-formulated). Here, the reader can make a link between what was asked and what was found. The questions in the orange-coloured boxes in this and in other Chapters, are taking from the Evaluative matrix (Annex D) as these correspond to a particular section in this report. Chapter 3 looks first at the project relevance and country drivenness (at project design), and links with national and development. Second, it looks at the design logic (in the framework of outcomes and objectives to reach the objective) and how the design framework was formulated, including the definition of indicators and target values for outcomes and outputs.

3.1 Relevance and design 

Country priorities and relevance: • Have project outcomes been contributing to national development priorities and plans and take into account national realities (status and challenges of off-grid RE; enabling environment)? • Consistency with the GEF focal areas in Climate Change/operational program strategies of the GEF CC and with the UN and UNDP country programming in Nepal • Is the Project addressing the needs of the target beneficiaries? Is the design responding to real needs and priorities of the targeted communities and private sector in the context of the project district/VDCs and private/financial sector? Relevance of the project’s objectives, outcomes and outputs to the different target groups of the interventions. Have relevant gender issues been raised in the project design? 


Tag: Energy Relevance Global Environment Facility fund Gender Mainstreaming Donor relations Programme/Project Design Country Government Micro-credit Technical Support SDG Integration

2.

3.2 Conceptualization and results framework

• Were lessons from other relevant projects (NRREP, or earlier projects, such as REDP) properly incorporated in the project design? Were the partnership arrangements properly been identified and the roles and responsibilities negotiated prior to project approval? • Has the project’s design (logframe) been adequate to address the problems at hand? • Was the project internally coherent in its design (logical linkages between expected results and design (components, choice of partners; scope, use of resources)? Were any (major) amendments to the assumptions or targets been made or planned during the Project’s implementation? • Were adequate project management arrangements in place at project entry? Was there any steering or advisory committee?

Integration with rural and renewable energy planning RERL was developed as an integral part of Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC)’s National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP), a donor-supported single framework and thus, has assisted in meeting its ambitious targets (see Box 7). In this setup, the RERL Team has been an integrated part of AEPC (see Box 8) to provide capacity building support and helping it to meet the goals of AEPC. RERL has supported AEPC with the revision and formulation of new policies, implementation of new models of large-scale solar mini-grids with private developers, and the design of financial mechanisms to mobilise Central Renewable Energy Fund (CREF) through the CREF Secretariat and private sector banks. RERL has helped in increasing livelihood opportunities for the village communities that are being served through mini-and micro-hydro projects. By embedding RERL into the AEPC/NRREP donorsupported framework, this has ensured close coordination with other donor-supported initiatives undertaken by multilateral and bilateral development partners, such as ADB, Denmark, DfID, GIZ, Norway, KfW, UNCDF, UNDP, and WB.


Tag: Rural development Energy Global Environment Facility fund Integration Results-Based Management Theory of Change Private Sector Capacity Building

3.

4. FINDINGS: PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION

This part of the Evaluation Report describes the assessment and rating of the quality of the execution by the GEF Implementing Agency (IA), UNDP, and by the Executing Agency AEPC. An assessment is made of the partnerships established and stakeholder interaction during implementation and the important role of adaptive management. The Evaluation Report presents an assessment and rating of the project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) at implementation. A special section is dedicated to the budget, expenditures, and co-financing of the RERL Project. 

4.1 Implementation and management

4.1.1 Management arrangements and adaptive management

• How have the project management systems, including progress reporting, administrative and financial systems and monitoring and evaluation system been operating as effective management tools aid in effective implementation and provide sufficient basis for evaluating performance and decision making? Was the information provided by the M&E system (annual work plans, PIRs, other) used to improve performance and to adapt to changing needs; Are there any annual work plans? • Did UNDP and Project staff identify problems in a timely fashion and advice to the project? If so, has the project practicing adaptive management e.g., (approve modifications in time)? If so, how effective was the adaptive management practiced under the project and lessons learnt?


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Energy Global Environment Facility fund Private Sector Financing Knowledge management Project and Programme management Results-Based Management Technical Support

4.

4.1.2 Monitoring and evaluation

M&E: design at entry

At Inception, a total of USD 110,585 was allocated, about 2% of the total GEF budget, which is deemed sufficient for this type and size of the Project. Project activities are monitored at several levels, project staff visit fields and prepare reports, AEPC and UNDP officials also make field visits to monitor progress on a periodic basis. The performance of RERL is monitored and assessed according to the goals defined and agreed in the AWPs, with outcomes and outcome indicators (which are based on the logframe of the Project Document) and outputs. The ProDoc also gives a ‘standard-type’ of M&E Plan with an inception activity (workshop, report), annual reporting (PIRs), project steering committee meetings, periodic status, financial and progress reporting, as well as audits, field visits, and midterm review and final evaluation reports.


Tag: Communication Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Quality Assurance Results-Based Management

5.

4.2 Stakeholder involvement and relations

• How efficient have partnership arrangement been for the project? Did each partner have assigned roles and responsibilities from the beginning? Did each partner fulfil its role and responsibilities? • To what extent were partnerships/linkages between institutions/ organizations/private sector encouraged and supported?

External communication RERL has conducted a number of orientations, trainings and seminars on topics related to mini-hydro and solar PV offgrid systems (for details see Section 5.1.3). The RERL project team has published some articles in the local newspapers and monthly magazine and short video clips in ‘YouTube’. Information on RERL can be found at http://www.aepc.gov.np/rerl/public/. The AEPC and RERL webpages provide general info on AEPC; info on upcoming and past events; statistics on RE technologies; resource center (downloadable reports, policy documents, standards, guidelines, and manuals), and AEPC-implemented programmes. The RERL webpage presents a number of success stories (mentioned below) and videos. RERL organized an ‘Investor’s forum’ in August 2015 to showcase potential RE projects to prospective investors. The project has been making presentations on its modalities and lessons learnt in various forums both in Nepal and abroad. RERL has developed ‘Nepal Solar Calculator’ a mobile phone application to help people get an estimate of the size of the solar PV systems and its approximate cost and contact detail of solar installers (see also Section 5.1.4).


Tag: Clean Energy Communication Partnership Country Government Private Sector Capacity Building Technology South-South Cooperation

6.

4.3 Project finance and co-financing

• Breakdown of actual project costs by activities compared to budget (variances), financial management (including disbursement issues) • If there was a difference in the level of expected co-financing and the co-financing actually realized, what were the reasons for the variance? Did the extent of materialization of co-financing affect project outcomes and/or sustainability, and, if so, in what ways and through what causal linkages?

The financial resources that were requested and made available by GEF and the actual expenditures (until end of 2018) are summarised in Hydro facility. Box 13. Basically, at the end of five years, the GEF funding has been spent, while UNDP has actually made available more funding from its resources than the USD 2 million originally planned. More co-financing has been mobilised than the USD 54.81 million originally committed (Government) or planned (leveraged private sector and other financing). The amount of (cash) co-financing mobilised is linked with the investments in generating capacity of micro-hydro, mini hydro and larger solar systems, as indicated in Box 17, Box 20, Box 22, and Box 24 Solar PV systems supported during the RERL Project. Hydro facility. Box 13 UNDP/GEF budget and actual expenditures and co-financing data. Note: The data are compiled from the UNDP ProDoc and data provided by RERL Project Team. Co-financing consists of grants (government), loans (from bank sector) and equity investment. For details see also Boxes 17, 20, 22 and 24). For details on UNDPGEF expenditures the reader is referred to reports carried out by independent auditors. 


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Natural Disaster Clean Energy Energy Challenges Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Government Cost-sharing Private Sector Financing Monitoring and Evaluation Project and Programme management

7.

5. FINDINGS: PROGRESS TOWARDS OUTCOMES

5.1 Introduction • What outputs has the project achieved (both qualitative and quantitative results, comparing the expected and realized end-project value of progress indicators of each outcome/output with the baseline value)? To what extent have the expected outcomes and of the project been achieved? • Have results been achieved within the planned timeframe? Was the project time sufficient? Were there any unplanned effects? Which external factors have contributed or hinder the achievement of the expected results? • Has the project produced results (outputs and outcomes) within the expected time frame Is the project proactively taking advantage of new opportunities, adapting its theory of change to respond to changes in the development context? Are there any unaddressed barriers remaining?

Chapter five presents progress towards results. For each of the five project components, as mentioned in paragraph 1.2, this section assesses the progress in the implementation of the project’s outcomes and outputs, following the ‘project results framework’ format and as reported by the Project Team in the annual UNDP/GEF Project Implementation Reports (PIRs) 2016, 2017 and 2018, annual progress reports (APR, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) as well various PowerPoint presentations presented by the Project Team to the Evaluators and interviews with stakeholders. Section 5.2 describes the progress achieved in outputs and activities for each Component/Outcome, following the outline of outcomes and outputs of Box 3. Section 5.2 tries to provide a quantitative and descriptive overview of the achievements of outputs and outcomes. Section 5.3 provides an assessment of results in terms of attainment of the outcomes and outcome indicators. The baseline and target values of the indicators are taken from the project’s logical framework (as reported in the Inception Report and PIRs), while the achievements (i.e. indicator value at project’s end, is compiled from PowerPoint presentations made by the project team for the TE mission), supplemented by additional info obtained during the mission (provided by the Project Team) and analysis of the outputs and reports produced during 2015-2017. The greenhouse gas emissions reported have also been reviewed; these are discussed in Section 5.3.3. Section 5.3 ends with a summary of the Evaluators’ ratings towards results. Section 5.4 discusses sustainability and replicability.


Tag: Energy Partnership Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management

8.

5.2 Progress in achieving outputs and outcomes

5.2.1 Outcome 1 Strengthened legal, institutional and policy environment to support RE and other low – carbon technology development and utilization

Output 1.2 Adequate information available for incorporating mini-hydro and large-scale solar PV systems into district RE plans

Achievements: • Methodology for preparation of District Electrification Master Plans (DEMPs) • Methodology for Municipal Energy Plans (MEPs) prepared o MEP of 7 rural municipalities prepared and submitted o MEP of 16 municipalities prepared by GIZ-supported RERA • Tools and software: o Geo-coded map of energy infrastructure o Training on the use of GIS for desk study of potential RE projects for AEPC/NRREP/RERL organized. o Mobile phone apps for survey tool & rooftop solar calculation

RERL has initiated activities related to the preparation of District Electrification Master Plans (DEMP); for example. Gorkha District was supported with its DEMP formulation, going beyond usual energy plans by incorporating larger RE systems and grid extension to optimize resource utilization on a least-cost basis. RERL provided orientation to 18 DDCs on the methodology for preparing DEMP (Dec 2016). The new Constitution has brought new powers to the local governments. However, many municipalities have limited technical and managerial capacities to effectively carry out their roles related to rural and renewable energy. Thus, RERL prepared a methodology to develop MEP, with inputs from key stakeholders like municipalities, and partner organizations including GIZ and ICIMOD. The MEP focuses on the provision of clean cooking and lighting solutions, energy for community services such as health centres and schools and for enterprises. The methodology will help to identify the least-cost solutions considering the lifecycle cost of different renewable energy technologies. RERL worked closely with Palungtar Municipality, Gorkha and Mahankal Rural Municipality to prepare their MEPs. The Renewable Energy for Rural Areas (RERA) project of GIZ will help 16 municipalities in Provinces 1 and 7 under the same framework. Municipalities are not only participating as subsidy providers in these projects but as investors/developers. Thus, RERL’s pilot initiatives have contributed to mobilizing partners in local energy planning mechanisms. Now, other municipalities have approached AEPC/RERL to help them prepare their MEPs.

The subsidy mechanism is subject to the decentralisation in Nepal as well. AEPC has developed a Support Package for Local and Provincial Governments for promotion of RE in Nepal. The Support Package includes model RE policy, the methodology for MEP preparation, forms and formats for subsidy processing, etc. AEPC has signed separate MoUs with all 7 provincial governments to jointly promote renewable energy activities. In fiscal year 2018/19, AEPC has provided conditional grants to all 753 local and 7 provincial governments to support RE projects and activities. This allocated amount will be used to prepare municipal energy plans. In future, such conditional grants to local governments will be based on their MEPs. Interestingly, municipalities are not participating as subsidy providers in these projects but as investors/developers and their capacities are also improving along the way. RERL provided technical support to the World Bank and AEPC on the implementation of Anchor-Business-Customer (ABC) projects. It has provided Geo-coded information of energy infrastructure projects in Nepal and helped select candidate sites for implementation. The World Bank is also considering grid interconnection of RETs under the project.


Tag: Energy Communication Knowledge management Capacity Building Advocacy

9.

5.2.2 Outcome 2 Increased investments in RE Mini hydropower

Output 2a1 Commissioned mini hydro demonstration projects totalling 1 MW through PPP model. Achievements: • USD 7 million grant and USD 5 million loan budgeted by AEPC/ADB under SASEC to develop 4.3MW Mini hydro Projects

Output 2b1 Demonstrated PPP models facilitating cooperation between private sector, public sector, and local organizations through establishment of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) in selected mini-hydro projects (1 MW). Axhievements: • Developed framework for commercial operation of MHPs and supported 25 MHPs o Cooperative model o SPV- Public Limited Company model o Private enterprise o Community private partnership (CPP) – lease out model 

Narrative: With the closing of donor funding for NRREP, AEPC has facilitated collaboration between RERL and Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) programme to jointly promote mini-hydro and solar mini-grid projects. In this arrangement, SASEC provides financial assistance (both loan and subsidy) to develop these projects and RERL provides technical assistance necessary for project identification, feasibility study, engineering design, financial closure, procurement, construction supervision and capacity development for operation and management of the projects. RERL and SASEC, through CREF, supported the identification, detailed feasibility study and design and financial closure of several mini-hydro facilities. Box 17 gives an overview of the mini-hydro projects, by July 2019, that have been completed (with SASEC and AEPC funding), are under construction and Box 18 mini-hydro projects that are planned post-project (with AEPC, World Bank and SASEC funding).

Community-managed (and owned) off-grid systems are considered as highly risky (see Section 5.2.3) from a financialeconomic point of view. All SASEC funded projects are being developed by a legal entity (public company, private company, cooperatives or a mix thereof in the form of a SPV). These projects have been developed under public-privatepartnership (PPP) modality with a financial contribution by the government, commercial banks, municipalities, and beneficiary communities. It is expected that these projects will not only generate enough revenue to hire professionals for day-to-day operations but also pay back their loans on time reducing the perceived risk of investing in communityowned renewable energy systems in remote locations. Establishment and strengthening of cooperatives/companies with clearly outlined governance and management systems is the key to sustainability and attracting finance from banks. RERL has been supporting the communities to establish a cooperative or a company to develop and manage mini-hydropower projects. Capacity development activities are already initiated and will be continued until each project is able to operate smoothly and ensure revenue generation to pay off the loan. 


Tag: Energy Effectiveness Efficiency Resource mobilization Technical Support

10.

5.2.3 Outcome 3a Improved availability of financial investment supports for rural RE and other low-carbon technology applications

Outcome 3b Improved design and packaging of investment support mechanisms for rural RE and other low-carbon technology applications

Output 3a1 Established financing instrument to incentivize Banking and Financial Institutions (BFIs) for financing domestic manufacturers to meet growing orders and be cost-competitive Output 3a2 Established a financing instrument to incentivize Banking and Financial Institutions (BFIs) to promote commercial financing for mini-hydro and large-scale solar PV projects Output 3b1 Designed and provided technical support for financing platforms and services for promoting commercial financing for domestic manufacturers Output 3b2 Designed and provided technical support for financing platforms and services for promoting commercial financing for mini-hydro and large-scale solar PV projects Output 3b3 Developed training materials on mini-hydro and large- scale solar PV projects for financing institutions Output 3b4 Created matchmaking platform for mini-hydro and large-scale solar PV developers, financing institutions, and equity investors, and productive end-users


Tag: Gender Equality Gender Mainstreaming Women's Empowerment Local Governance Risk Management Micro-credit Advocacy Capacity Building Rural development Energy Efficiency Global Environment Facility fund Resource mobilization

11.

5.2.4 Outcome 4 Enhanced technical capacities and skills in design, manufacture, installation, and operation, management of rural RE projects planning, assessment and monitoring

Output 4.1 Established database of technical specifications for the design, manufacture of micro-hydro (60+ kW) and mini-hydro installation and after-sales service in micro-hydro (60+ kW) and large scale solar PV systems

Output 4.2 Fully trained skilled and technically capable people available for project identification, feasibility studies and detail design of mini-hydro projects

Output 4.3 Fully trained, skilled and technically capable mini-hydro manufacturers in identified areas with aftersales services

Output 4.4 Fully trained, skilled and technically capable construction and installation teams within companies to improve quality of installed mini-hydro projects and large solar PV system Output 4.5 Fully trained, skilled and technically capable people available for operation, maintenance and business management of mini-hydro projects and large-scale solar PV systems.

• The study on gap analysis for development of mini-hydro in Nepal completed. • Quality Assurance Framework for Solar PV and Mini Micro Hydro is prepared • Sustainability Framework for MHP prepared and piloted in 11 MHPs • Remote monitoring of Solar PV system developed & installed • Training on “Certification of Micro Hydro Installation” with CTEVT (Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training • Guidelines/Manualso Mini Hydro Detailed Feasibility Study (DFS) guidelines (> 100 kW) o Mini Hydro Tariff Fixation, Operation Guidelines o Mini Hydro Development Guidelines o Guidelines for Commercial Operation of MHP o Power Output Verification guidelines for mini/micro hydro revised o Solar-Wind Mini Grid Design Guideline o Utility-Scale Solar PV Development Guideline • Trainings o POV training for Engineers o Large Scale Solar PV Design Training o Micro Hydro Operation Training of Trainers o Decentralized Micro Hydro Training o House Wiring Training o Mason Training o Electrical Safety Training for users o Mini Hydro Management Training o Micro Hydro Installation Training o Orientation on productive uses of energy o Orientation on Tariff Fixation and Operation Guidelines for the Management of Mini Hydro Powero Women business management training


Tag: Energy Knowledge management Monitoring and Evaluation Programme/Project Design Quality Assurance Technology Technical Support Data and Statistics

12.

5.3 Progress towards the objective

5.3.1 Progress indicators The following table provides an overview of progress against the indicators reported in the project’s results framework and a subsequent PIRs.

Box 28 Development progress (outcome indicators)

In most cases, the end-of-project (EoP) value of the outcome indicator surpasses the target value. In the case of minihydro, despite facing numerous challenges such as earthquake, blockade and uncertainties after the promulgation of the new federal constitution, the project was able to achieve 0.78 MW installed capacity of mini hydro against the target of 1 MW. Based on the current stage of the mini hydro projects under construction and continuation of RERL through ADB SASEC and UNDP funding, the physical target of 1 MW is expected positively to be achieved by the end of December 2019 and additional 2.75 MW by end of SASEC project in December 2021. Further, 4.7 MW of mini hydro projects studied by RERL will be developed through SASEC or Nepal Mini Grid Project. In this way, both the demonstration and postdemonstration targets of cumulative 8 MW will be achieved..

5.3.2 Objective and indicators

• How did the project contribute to GHG emissions reduction within the project implementation cycle and beyond?

Box 29 gives an overview of the installed capacity of RE systems (mini hydro, micro hydro, solar PV) that received technical support by the RERL project (financed by AEPC/GoN, RERL/GEG/UNDP, and other sources, as indicated in Box13) and the corresponding energy generation and greenhouse gas emission reduction. Box 30 is summary thereof, giving the end-of-project (EoP) target of electricity generation and GHG emission reduction, and the realised value (as per 20 July 2019). 


Tag: Effectiveness Impact Resource mobilization Partnership Policies & Procedures Results-Based Management

13.

5.4 Sustainability and replication

• To what extent are there financial, institutional, social-economic, and/or environmental risks to sustaining long-term project results? How sustainable (or likely to be sustainable) are the outputs and outcomes? Is there an exit strategy that is well planned? What could be done to strengthen exit strategies and ensure sustainability of interventions made? • What impact has the project had on policy, legal and institutional frameworks relating to uptake of low-carbon technology?

Sustainability is generally considered to be the likelihood of continued benefits after the project ends. Consequently, the assessment of sustainability considers the risks that are likely to affect the continuation of project outcomes (discussed in detail in Section 4.1.1). In fact, many risks are in one way or another related to the “barriers” mentioned in the Project Document). The occurrence of the “risks” and failure to implement risk mitigation, implies that it will be more difficult to lower corresponding “barriers” substantially, thus negatively affecting the likeliness of “sustainability” of the project’s interventions. The critical “assumptions” then is that the “internal risks” (i.e. risks that can be mitigated or managed by Project management), and ‘external risks’ have a low incidence and/or impacts, in such a way that sustainability remains (moderately) likely. The quality of adaptive management (mentioned in Section 6.1) is determined by the mitigation response of Project management to these external and internal risk factors as these manifests themselves more intensely and/or more frequently than expected. In assessing the ‘sustainability’ of the RERL, a simple rating scheme is used: • Likely (L): negligible risks to sustainability; • Moderately Likely (ML): moderate risks to sustainability; • Moderately Unlikely (MU): significant risks to sustainability; and • Unlikely (U): severe risks to sustainability; and • U/A = unable to assess. Five main areas are considered in this section and then rated as to the likelihood and extent that risks will impede sustainability.

Governance and institutional sustainability RERL project was designed as an integral part of National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP) to support AEPC to remove barriers in upscaling RE technologies such as mini hydro and large solar PV systems. The Government of Nepal (GoN) has given high priority to promotion of renewable energy for both rural development and fossil fuel substitution and energy security. The Government’s priority to RE is reflected in its periodic plans, the MoEWRI White Paper 2018, the recent RE Subsidy Policy (2016) and Subsidy Delivery Mechanism (draft) as well as in the various programmes that are on-going with development partners (RERL, SASEC, SREP, RERA) or have recently started (such as the Nepal Renewable Energy Programme of DFID, Nepal Mini-Grid Project of the World Bank, etc.). RERL helped AEPC and GoN to draft these (draft) policies, guidelines, concept papers, etc. related to renewable energy development in Nepal. Among the most prominent contribution of RERL was to provide inputs to draft Local Government Operation Act (LGOA) 2017. As the Constitution of Nepal 2015 gives the overall right to develop renewable energy, small hydropower projects, irrigation, and drinking supply systems and other local services to municipalities, RERL provided extensive inputs to elaborate their responsibilities that was incorporated in LGOA 2017, which has given rights to development of renewable energy, hydropower plants up to 1MW and electricity distribution system to municipalities. After the enactment of LGOA 2017, RERL is working with AEPC to build up capacities of municipalities for planning, project identification, implementation, monitoring and post-installation support related to RE projects. RERL also prepared a methodology for municipal energy planning and piloted in 2 municipalities. The methodology thus developed is replicated by GIZ supported RERA project in preparing 16 Municipal Energy Plans (MEP) in Provinces 1 and 7. Further, it is envisaged that DFID supported Nepal Renewable Energy Programme will help to prepare MEPs in remaining provinces. RERL has also provided essential support in positioning AEPC as RE Center of Excellence. The draft AEPC Bill, which incorporates these ideas, has been submitted to GoN for endorsement and approval from the Parliament. AEPC has already established its units within the Department of Energy, Ministry of Infrastructure of Provinces 1 and 7. Provinces are responsible to support municipalities to carry out their activities and also to develop provincial level RE projects. The AEPC units work closely with provincial officials to help build up their capacity in planning, implementation, monitoring, quality assurance, and standardization, resource mobilization and allocation, etc. for development of RE projects both at provincial and local levels. RERL supported to prepare standards/guidelines for grid interconnection of MHP and large solar PV systems, while the standards for MHP-Grid Interconnection has been approved by NEA Board and 4 such systems have been implemented, the guidelines for development and grid connection of utility-scale solar PV systems have been submitted to MoEWRI for approval. Given the above, the Evaluators have the opinion that the institutional and governance risks are relatively small; and sustainability is rated as likely (L). 


Tag: Energy Effectiveness Sustainability Private Sector Financing Local Governance Knowledge management Ownership International Financial Institutions Capacity Building Technical Support Private Sector

14.

(Continuation from Finding 3)

Adaptive management In 2015, Nepal faced a number of challenging situations that affected the Project and had to be adaptively managed. An earthquake in April 2015 (with 7.8 magnitude, followed by various aftershocks in May) with its epicentre in Gorkha District, killing about 9,000 people and injuring almost 22,000. The earthquake destroyed homes and heritage sites, flattening entire villages in a number of districts. It also damaged energy infrastructure. RERL supported AEPC in carrying rapid assessments of 42 solar PV pumping projects and provided assistance to AEPC to carry out a detailed feasibility study for the rehabilitation of 45 micro-hydro plants (MHPs) damaged by the earthquakes. RERL reallocated USD 1 million in 2015 for relief and rehabilitation of renewable energy systems in earthquake-affected areas (out of the budget which was meant for financially supporting demo projects). Under relief and rehabilitation activities, during 2016-17 AEPC rehabilitated nine solar PV pumping systems (with technical assistance by RERL and funding from the GEF/UNDP budget, KfW and other donors) and has supported the installation of 258 solar PV systems in public buildings (district and village offices and centres, health posts and as well as (temporary) schools and learning centres. Similarly, with technical assistance rural communities brought back 104 MHPs to operation (partly funded by RERL project and AEPC funds) generating 3,102 kW and benefitting about 15,000 households that had ceased to get electricity after their plants were damaged by the earthquakes (see Boxes 20, 21 and 22).


Tag: Disaster Risk Reduction Energy Effectiveness Efficiency Operational Efficiency Project and Programme management Risk Management Humanitarian development nexus Private Sector

15.

5.2.2 Outcome 2 Increased investments in RE Mini hydropower (Continuation from Finding 9)

Output 2b4 Operationalized 2 MW of off-grid large micro-hydro (over 60 kW) power projects demonstrating costadvantage, feasibility, productive end-uses, and best practice through technical assistance. • MHPs (micro hydro), over 60 kW o 46 MHPs o 4,324 kW o 37,145 households. • Relief & Rehabilitation o 104 MHPs o 3,102 kW o 22,195 households.

To demonstrate the financial viability of micro-hydro plants (MHPs), RERL has been supporting 46 MHPs with the total capacity of 4,324 kW benefiting 37,145 households in for commercial operation. RERL support has included community mobilization, institutionalization of MHPs and verification of documents submitted by POV Inspectors. Another important aspect is demand stimulation by promoting productive uses of energy (PUE; discussed further as part of Outcome 3). Micro hydro should not only be seen as a social infrastructure but also as a commercially feasible enterprise that should raise sufficient revenues to cover operation, management and maintenance cost. Under rehabilitation activities after the 2015 earthquake, RERL provided technical and financial support to 104 MHPs for rehabilitation with a total capacity of 3,102 kW and benefiting 22,195 HHs have been brought back to operation. This also implied that part of the original budget meant for demonstration projects was used for relief and rehabilitation efforts (see Box 22).

Off-grid solar PV

Output 2a3 Commissioned large-scale solar PV demonstration projects totalling 500kW. • Under the Credit Guarantee Mechanism and Vendor Financing Instrument established at CREF, RERL in collaboration with UNCDF, WINROCK, Sahara Nepal, Small Farmers Cooperative Ltd., over 100 solar PV pumping systems have been established. • AEPC provided USD 272,727 as soft credit to establish 1MWp Captive Solar plant at Bishnu Priya Solar Farm, Nawalparasi to power MK Paper Mill. RERL provided technical assistance to interconnect the system with the grid. • USD 99,269 was mobilized from Gyeonsangbuk-do, South Korea to provide Solar PV solutions for lighting, water supply and operating micro industries in extremely marginalized Chepang village in Dhading district. • USD 3 million grant budgeted by GoN/ADB under SASEC to develop 500kWp solar minigrid projects. • USD 640,909 mobilized from KfW to install 50 solar PV pumping systems.


Tag: Natural Disaster Energy Green Climate Green Economy Natural Resouce management Effectiveness Technical Support

16.

5.2.3 Outcome 3a Improved availability of financial investment supports for rural RE and other low-carbon technology applications (Continuation from Finding 10)

Productive uses of energy

Output 3b5 Established functional enterprises adopting productive use of electricity Output 3b6 Operationalized mechanism to promote financial products for entrepreneurs/end users Output 3b7 Ensured women and marginalized/vulnerable groups own 33% of the functional electricity-based enterprises established. • Extensive input provided to prepare AEPC’s guidelines, forms, formats, mechanisms for productive end-use promotion; Enterprise based approach; Support the entire value chain • Innovative Technologies for fuel switchingo Lokta/Allo Boiler in collaboration with Pokhara University o Lokta Paper Dryer o Sisno (Nettle leaves) Dryer o Cardamom Dryer o Tea/Ginger Dryer o Khuwa Making Machine o Herbal Soap Making o Electric Cooking in Collaboration with University of Bristol, UK and PEEDA Nepal. o Micro Hydro Operated Lift Irrigation (MHOLI) • Targeted activities for women (90 women) and marginalized groups for enterprise development- skill development, marketing, packing, entrepreneurship, etc.; Women-led micro finance activities-women owned mini-hydro plants.

One of the main barriers for attracting private investment in RE projects in rural areas is the perceived high risks Banking and Financial Institutions (BFIs) have of community-owned and managed systems. Another major reason for the lack of private investment in RE sector is low returns. To enhance revenue generation from RE projects, RERL has been working closely with AEPC to develop mechanisms for the promotion of productive energy uses. This will help attract private sector actors to develop and operate renewable energy projects. RERL provided technical assistance to PEUC/AEPC to prepare 45 business proposals for small enterprises powered by MHPs. The business plans have been submitted to AEPC for government subsidy. RERL is working on electric cooking and space heating with electricity generated by micro hydropower plants as recommended by the MTR. One of the major hindrances in this regard is the limited power of MHPs – it is not possible to provide electricity to all beneficiaries as the designed power allocation to each household is only 200W, which is not enough for electric cooking nor space heating. RERL is testing low wattage cooking, modification of commercially available stoves and demand-side management to promote electric cooking. RERL supported other innovative projects that help fuel switching from firewood to electricity. RERL helped to locally design and fabricate an electric lokta bark boiler and install it at a Nepali paper factory in Ghandruk, Kaski. After comments from the Ghandruk entrepreneur, RERL further modified the design and fabricated a prototype and tested it. Based on the new design a lokta bark boiler was fabricated and installed in Ramechhap district by a local entrepreneur with financial assistance from the Rapid Enterprise and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP) supported by UNDP. Similarly, RERL is supporting to design and fabricate a nettle leaves dryer (Sisno dryer). The dryer has been fabricated and transported to Baglung. The Sisno dryer will be managed by the Nisi Sisno Powder Udhyog owned by 15 women entrepreneurs. The enterprise will be providing employment opportunity for 15 very poor women during collection time. 


Tag: Energy Green Climate Green Economy Resource mobilization Gender Equality Women's Empowerment Inclusive economic growth Jobs and Livelihoods Micro-credit Social Protection Vulnerable

17.

5.4 Sustainability and replication (Continuation from Finding 13)

Socio-economic sustainability; business models and capacity of private sector and communities At the community level, RERL’s focus is on developing technical and managerial capacities of end-users to sustainably operate and manage RE projects and maximize benefits. AEPC/RERL has identified the Salleri Chialsa Electricity Company (SCECO) model as a suitable one for the operation and management of mini hydropower projects. In order to replicate the successful governance and management system in Salleri Chialsa, AEPC and SCECO have signed an MoU to support institutional strengthening of SASEC mini-hydro projects. However, many communities are reluctant to go for private ownership and prefer the cooperative model. Thus, RERL has prepared and is implementing comprehensive packages for the establishment and strengthening of both cooperative and company models. In both models, the renewable energy systems are seen not only as social assets but also commercially viable investment and community/beneficiaries are thus oriented. In the Cooperative Model, extensive support is provided to the communities to engage in microfinancing activities so that women and members of marginalized communities can maximize benefits from access to electricity for household consumption but also utilize it for establishment of productive enterprises. Furthermore, to bring efficiency in the management of large micro/mini hydropower/solar irrigation projects, RERL is also promoting “Community Private Partnership” (CPP), where the community owns the power plant and leases it out for private management. For continuity of RERL’s best practices and implementation of recommendations from lessons learnt is to internalize them in AEPC itself and in other relevant organizations. For this, RERL has had the capacity development component targeting governmental agencies, particularly AEPC, private sector and end-users (communities and community-based organisations). the progression of phases from demonstration to post demonstration has been carefully taken into account during individual project planning and implementation. It is also expected that after completion of these RE projects, the expertise will have been internalized fully within AEPC. The Evaluators rate the capacity-related risks have been significantly lowered during RERL’s implementation and socioeconomic and capacity sustainability as likely (L).


Tag: Rural development Energy Environmental impact assessment Sustainability Business Model Ownership Partnership Private Sector

18.

5.2.1 Outcome 1 Strengthened legal, institutional and policy environment to support RE and other low – carbon technology development and utilization -Output 1.1 Approved and enforced policy that enables PPP model for mini hydro and large scale solar PV development, including fiscal incentive and sustainability for possible changes in Nepal government structure (to federal system) Achievements (Continuation from Finding 7)

• White Paper of MoEWRI (2018; Draft AEPC Bill (2018) The White Paper will be the guiding document for the RE sector. Furthermore, in 2018 AEPC was brought under MoEWRI’s jurisdiction, and MoEWRI has taken initiative to draft AEPC’s Act that will ensure AEPC’s autonomy and clarify its roles and responsibilities at federal, provincial and municipal levels and will boost the role of AEPC as a ‘centre of excellence’ regarding rural and renewable energy. RERL helped AEPC to draft its Transition Paper reflecting the new context and provided inputs on Draft AEPC Bill to be submitted to Government of Nepal. The Bill, currently under discussion at MoEWRI, brings greater representation of local and provincial governments in AEPC governance, together with the establishment of local and provincial energy units and dedicated funds. RERL helped AEPC to develop the Support Package for Local and Provincial Governments for promotion of RE in Nepal. Support package includes model RE policy, a methodology for MEP preparation, forms and formats for subsidy processing, etc. AEPC has signed separate MoUs with all 7 provincial governments to jointly promote renewable energy activities. In fiscal year 2018/19, AEPC has provided Conditional Grant to all 753 local and 7 provincial governments to support RE projects and activities. RERL supported this by organising orientations to officials of provincial governments and municipalities in Provinces 1, 2, 4, 6 and 7. ; • Public-private partnership guidelines RERL prepared Public-Private Partnership Framework Guidelines for mini-hydro promotion in Nepal which includes formation of a legally established ‘energy service company (ESCO)’, a cooperative, private enterprise of a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), as an essential institutional arrangement where participation is open to the governments, beneficiary households, local entrepreneurs, cooperatives and firms. Having a legal entity is a condition for getting commercial loans. RERL organized several orientation programs for rural communities and the private sector (Nepal Micro Hydro Development Association; NMHDA) on this ESCO/SPV model. Some MHDA members have started to identify suitable projects to develop with their and beneficiaries’ equity along with government subsidy and bank loan. AEPC and the World Bank agreed in 2019 to launch the Private Sector-led Nepal Mini-Grid Project to promote mini/micro-hydro and solar mini-grids through ESCO model. AEPC, CREF, and RERL personnel provided extensive inputs to conceptualize and prepare the Nepal Mini-Grid Project.


Tag: Energy Effectiveness Sustainability Rule of law Knowledge management Policies & Procedures Institutional Strengthening National Institutions Private Sector

Recommendations
1

( Knowledge dissemination- RERL project Team). The Project has generated a lot of information and knowledge, which is however scattered over a multitude of progress and quarterly reports, videos and small case studies. Masked by facts and factoids it is difficult for the occasional reader to search for and digest the wealth of information. One suggestion is to make a good colour-printed publication to be distributed widely. This should summarise not only the info available in various documents and reports, but also provides insight into what works and what does not. Rather than describing just results and best practice examples on a RE project-by-project basis, it is interesting to know how results were achieved and by which mechanisms.

2

( Knowledge dissemination -  UNDP CO) Such a publication on scaling up (off-grid) RE in Nepal could be followed by a general UNDP publication on mini-grids and large RE systems, incorporating experiences in other countries as well.  First, this will increase UNDP’s visibility in this field internationally, and second, it can be a valuable source of knowledge for UNDP staff.

3

(UNDP Hqs.) UNDP has a ‘Community of Practice’ on energy and environment so that information and data are conserved. However, being part of UNDP’s Intranet, the wealth of information on projects, past experiences, designs and work planning, is not easily accessible for ‘outsiders’. However, such results and lessons learned from past and ongoing would be of high interest for practioners that frequently do assignments for UNDP, such as evaluators, design consultants or technical experts. A suggestion is to make part of UNDP’s knowledge network on rural and renewable energy accessible for practitioners that frequently work with UNDP.  Such a network could function as a depository of information (reports, documents on rural RE and mini-grids), relevant UNDP documents (UNDP reports, project documents, evaluation reports, Terms of reference), and as a forum to exchange information and views.

4

Grid connection (AEPC, RERL Team). While grid-connection of off-grid systems has been pioneered by RERL, it is still in an infant stage. Regulations permit the off-grid system to sell power to the grid under an agreed PPA, i.e. as a small power producer. here are other modalities possible, e.g. continue as small power distributor (or subcontracted by NEA for this purpose) or as retailer, or a combination of modalities, which should be investigated further.

5

Least-cost rural renewable energy options (AEPC, RERL Team). While “private sector-led, upscaled” mini-grids have the focus attention of the development partner community, it should not be forgotten that these provide a niche area in electrification between grid extension and small rural RE systems. There will be still many communities that are either too far or with households to widely dispersed or are too poor to have everyone connected to the main grid or a mini-grid. It is important that the Municipal Energy Plans to be formulated have a holistic view, and consider grid connection, alongside smaller RE options (micro-hydro, solar home systems) and larger RE system (mini-hydro, solar mini-grids) and potential grid connection, as appropriate given size, distance, transportation barriers, and PUE opportunities of the area/community concerned.  Here, the assistance of the RERL team will be very much needed.

6

Viability of micro hydro  minigrids (AEPC). There are over 1700 micro hydropower plants installed with inconsistent success rate; many face operation and maintenance issues, rehabilitation of such systems remains important as well as stimulating demand by promoting PUE opportunities and establishing an adequate local RE system governance. These micro facilities still will play an important role (until or even after the grid arrives) and, in the drive for scaling up RE systems, should not be forgotten in AEPC’s programming. Post-installation support has successfully been supported by RERL but needs more internalization into the RE systems in Nepal, especially in the community owned and managed systems.

7

Continuation of RERL. RERL will continue under UNDP-AEPC with ADB/SASEC support until the end of 2021. It is important to have a longer-term plan for AEPC’s rural and renewable energy activities and the role of a team like RERL therein. Embedded in AEPC structure, the RERL Project has been able to advice and convince government decision-makers, while, on the other hand, its more autonomous role as a ‘project’ has enabled the team to work as an honest broker with private sector and non-government entities.

8

Future UNDP-supported rural renewable energy activities. UNDP might consider supporting the above-mentioned areas in a new post-RERL activities. The purpose of such a new project would not be to repeat what RERL has done. In terms of technology innovation, we can argue that RERL has been instrumental in bring larger RE off-grid technology from the stage of ‘demonstration’ to ‘deployment’.  The next step in the technology innovation cycle is to bring it to the next level, i,.e. from ‘deployment’ to larger-scale dissemination’.

1. Recommendation:

( Knowledge dissemination- RERL project Team). The Project has generated a lot of information and knowledge, which is however scattered over a multitude of progress and quarterly reports, videos and small case studies. Masked by facts and factoids it is difficult for the occasional reader to search for and digest the wealth of information. One suggestion is to make a good colour-printed publication to be distributed widely. This should summarise not only the info available in various documents and reports, but also provides insight into what works and what does not. Rather than describing just results and best practice examples on a RE project-by-project basis, it is interesting to know how results were achieved and by which mechanisms.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

The recommendation well taken and incorporated into the priority activities to be delivered as a follow-up action.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Completion Report is prepared
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/31]
RERL Project UNDP Nepal 2020/03 Completed The completion report was published in January 2020. History
1.2 Knowledge Sharing and Dissemination Workshop to be organized
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/31]
RERL Project UNDP Nepal 2020/01 Completed The knowledge sharing and dissemination workshop completed in presence of RTA. History
1.3 Compilation of success stories
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/06]
RERL Project 2019/12 Completed Success stories are prepared History
2. Recommendation:

( Knowledge dissemination -  UNDP CO) Such a publication on scaling up (off-grid) RE in Nepal could be followed by a general UNDP publication on mini-grids and large RE systems, incorporating experiences in other countries as well.  First, this will increase UNDP’s visibility in this field internationally, and second, it can be a valuable source of knowledge for UNDP staff.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

Recommendation is well received. The follow up action will be discussed with Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) for the wider corporate level publication on the mini-grids and large RE systems.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Discussion with the RTA to explore the way forward
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/31]
RTA and UNDP CO 2020/01 Completed Discussion was held with RTA during her last visit. Drafting of concept note has been initated. History
3. Recommendation:

(UNDP Hqs.) UNDP has a ‘Community of Practice’ on energy and environment so that information and data are conserved. However, being part of UNDP’s Intranet, the wealth of information on projects, past experiences, designs and work planning, is not easily accessible for ‘outsiders’. However, such results and lessons learned from past and ongoing would be of high interest for practioners that frequently do assignments for UNDP, such as evaluators, design consultants or technical experts. A suggestion is to make part of UNDP’s knowledge network on rural and renewable energy accessible for practitioners that frequently work with UNDP.  Such a network could function as a depository of information (reports, documents on rural RE and mini-grids), relevant UNDP documents (UNDP reports, project documents, evaluation reports, Terms of reference), and as a forum to exchange information and views.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

UNDP HQ to respond on this recommendation

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation:

Grid connection (AEPC, RERL Team). While grid-connection of off-grid systems has been pioneered by RERL, it is still in an infant stage. Regulations permit the off-grid system to sell power to the grid under an agreed PPA, i.e. as a small power producer. here are other modalities possible, e.g. continue as small power distributor (or subcontracted by NEA for this purpose) or as retailer, or a combination of modalities, which should be investigated further.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

Recommendation is noted. AEPC will discuss the alternate possibilities of grid inter-connection options with the stakeholders. Policy provisions will have to be reviewed.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 As a first step, these options will be tabled for discussion in the RERL Project Board meeting
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/31]
RERL team 2020/01 Completed The options are discussed in last PEB meeting held in January 2020. History
5. Recommendation:

Least-cost rural renewable energy options (AEPC, RERL Team). While “private sector-led, upscaled” mini-grids have the focus attention of the development partner community, it should not be forgotten that these provide a niche area in electrification between grid extension and small rural RE systems. There will be still many communities that are either too far or with households to widely dispersed or are too poor to have everyone connected to the main grid or a mini-grid. It is important that the Municipal Energy Plans to be formulated have a holistic view, and consider grid connection, alongside smaller RE options (micro-hydro, solar home systems) and larger RE system (mini-hydro, solar mini-grids) and potential grid connection, as appropriate given size, distance, transportation barriers, and PUE opportunities of the area/community concerned.  Here, the assistance of the RERL team will be very much needed.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

Recommendation is well received. RERL Team was instrumental in developing the Municipal Energy Plan methodology and in providing orientation to the local governments during the project implementation period. Now the AEPC and GiZ have adopted the Municipal Energy Plan pilots that RERL implemented. The further assistance will be made based on the need and demand from the AEPC.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 The recommendations made will be reflected in the Lessons Learned Document prepared by the project.
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/31]
RERL Team 2020/01 Completed The lessons learned documents were prepared and published. History
6. Recommendation:

Viability of micro hydro  minigrids (AEPC). There are over 1700 micro hydropower plants installed with inconsistent success rate; many face operation and maintenance issues, rehabilitation of such systems remains important as well as stimulating demand by promoting PUE opportunities and establishing an adequate local RE system governance. These micro facilities still will play an important role (until or even after the grid arrives) and, in the drive for scaling up RE systems, should not be forgotten in AEPC’s programming. Post-installation support has successfully been supported by RERL but needs more internalization into the RE systems in Nepal, especially in the community owned and managed systems.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

Recommendation is well noted and is dubbed valid. In the view of the larger RE promotion and role of micro hydro mini grid accentuation, some of the work can be integrated into the upcoming RE project being implemented by the AEPC, such as Nepal Renewable Energy Programme funded by DFID.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
6.1 Explore the opportunity to extend the post installation support that RERL was providing to the micro hydro mini grids into the NREP funded by DFID
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/01/31]
AEPC 2020/03 Completed Post installation supports were provided to 2 mini hydro powers in Rukum History
7. Recommendation:

Continuation of RERL. RERL will continue under UNDP-AEPC with ADB/SASEC support until the end of 2021. It is important to have a longer-term plan for AEPC’s rural and renewable energy activities and the role of a team like RERL therein. Embedded in AEPC structure, the RERL Project has been able to advice and convince government decision-makers, while, on the other hand, its more autonomous role as a ‘project’ has enabled the team to work as an honest broker with private sector and non-government entities.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

Recommendation well received. At the moment, UNDP is negotiating the terms with ADB for the current SASEC project. There is a pipeline being developed to give continuity to the RERL.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
7.1 Bridging phase for RERL until the agreement is reached between UNDP and ADB
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]
AEPC, ADB, UNDP 2020/03 Completed The Bridging Phase of RERL completed on 31 March 2020 and the agreement has been signed between AEPC/ADB and UNDP on 19 March 2020. History
7.2 Development of a follow-up project with a focus on empowerment of women through enhanced energy access is
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2021/01/07]
UNDP Nepal, UNDP China, AEPC 2020/12 Completed AEPC and UNDP, in presence of ADB, signed the agreement on 19 March 2020 for continuation of RERL up until December 2021 for providing technical assistance to mini hydro and solar mini grid subprojects under ADB/AEPC/SAASEC off-grid component. In this arrangement, ADB will mobilize US$ 1.5 million for technical assistance through UNDP while UNDP will contribute US$ 0.8 million. History
8. Recommendation:

Future UNDP-supported rural renewable energy activities. UNDP might consider supporting the above-mentioned areas in a new post-RERL activities. The purpose of such a new project would not be to repeat what RERL has done. In terms of technology innovation, we can argue that RERL has been instrumental in bring larger RE off-grid technology from the stage of ‘demonstration’ to ‘deployment’.  The next step in the technology innovation cycle is to bring it to the next level, i,.e. from ‘deployment’ to larger-scale dissemination’.

Management Response: [Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/11/22]

Recommendation well taken. The pipeline development is being discussed with the RTA. Several options have been identified.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
8.1 Identification of potential areas of innovative interventions
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]
RTA, RERL Team 2020/03 Completed Innovative intervention piloted on Cooking in Simliey, Rukum. History
8.2 Stakeholder consultation organized with the key partners to identify the needs and gaps so as to guide the future interventions
[Added: 2019/12/17] [Last Updated: 2020/04/23]
RTA, RERL Team, UNDP Nepal 2020/03 Completed RERL completion and stakeholder consultation workshop organized on 28 January 2020. Proceeding of workshop drafted. History

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