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93% of Nepali households have access to electricity from on-grid and off-grid sources, but there are still areas (Karnali and Sudur Paschim province) where the rate of electrification is low. The government’s goal is to provide electricity to every household by 2030. Although Nepal has recently taken great strides in the electricity sector, progress in the cooking sector is slow. In rural areas, people still rely on biomass energy for cooking. Firewood has a large share in cooking energy, straining the country’s forest resources. The health effects of indoor air pollution further exacerbate the problems in the rural context.

Technologies used in this project

  • Grid
  • Hydro mini-grids
  • Improved cookstoves

Country data

  • People with access to improved cooking services: 190,174*
  • People with access to electricity: 360,173*
  • SIs with access to modern energy services: 1,755*
  • MSMEs with access to modern energy services: 4,440*
  • *Achievements until December 2023
Shared solutions for renewable energy in Nepal


EnDev Nepal follows three main approaches to provide electricity and clean cooking technology to rural communities. Initially, to support the Rural Electrification Programme implemented by the national utility Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) for grid extension, EnDev signed a grant agreement with NEA to partially finance grid extension through Revolving Fund (RF). The loan repayment from the communities back to RF has supported 59 Community Rural Electrification Entities (CREE). Currently, RF is managed by the National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal (NACEUN). However, many households are still not connected to the grid mainly due to the high initial connection costs. Thus, the grid densification programme addresses this by providing an incentive to CREEs that enable marginalized households and enterprises with sustainable access to the grid electricity.

The second component in coordination with Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) enables remote communities to gain access to electricity from micro-hydropower plants via the Micro Hydro Debt Fund (MHDF). 30 micro-hydro plants have been established, allowing communities to payback the high upfront costs over a long period of time. This has encouraged commercial banks to finance micro-hydro projects in rural Nepal. Similarly, pico-hydro systems are implemented by SNV on behalf of EnDev in high hills of Nepal where grid and micro-hydro electrification are not possible.

The third project component is implemented by Practical Action and SNV in coordination with EnDev to establish sustainable markets for clean cooking solutions (improved cookstoves and electric cooktops). Gender Equality/Social Inclusion and productive use of energy are key aspects during implementation to engage dynamic socio-economic growth of the rural communities and for the sustainability of the local utilities. Building on the pilot project in 2019, EnDev Nepal is scaling up its e-cooking interventions targeting to build a market for at least 10,000 efficient e-cooking appliances by June 2023.

Learn more about EnDev´s approach
EnDev Nepal provides electricity to rural communities. Credit: GIZ

Further information

For more information on EnDev in Nepal see here and on the energy situation in Nepal see energypedia.

Other projects

  • Cambodia

    Through SNV, EnDev works on a programme to address the negative social, economic, environmental, and health impacts of traditional cooking in rural Cambodia.

  • Bangladesh

    EnDev supports a local cookstove organization and helps develop standards for the sector. It also works on a project for peer-to-peer grids.