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Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (GEF-RERL): Final Evaluation
Commissioning Unit: Nepal
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2022
Evaluation Type: Project
Completion Date: 10/2019
Unit Responsible for providing Management Response: Nepal
Documents Related to overall Management Response:
 
1. Recommendation:

(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]

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:

(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]

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]

UNDP HQ to respond on this recommendation

Key Actions:

4. 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]

UNDP HQ to respond on this recommendation

Key Actions:

5. 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]

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
6. 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]

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
7. 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]

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
8. 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]

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: 2020/01/31]
AEPC, ADB, UNDP 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Bridging phase for RERL until March 2020 was approved by the last project board meeting held on 7th January 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]
UNDP Nepal, UNDP China, AEPC 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Proposal developed in 2018; final rounds of reviews by the government of China are underway.
9. 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]

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: 2020/01/31]
RTA, RERL Team 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated Innovative intervention piloted on Cooking in Simley, 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]
RTA, RERL Team, UNDP Nepal 2020/03 Overdue-Initiated One such consultation was organized in 2017 and another one is planned for January 2020

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