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Energising Development (EnDev) Nepal

Energising Development (EnDev) is an energy access partnership currently financed by six countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Sweden. EnDev promotes sustainable access to modern energy services that meet the needs of the poor - long-lasting, affordable, and appreciated by users.

The new programme in Nepal is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GlZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since 2008 to facilitate access to modern energy services through the grid and off-grid technologies. GIZ implemented EnDev supports the Community Rural Electrification Programme (CREP) of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), associated with the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irri for grid extension to communities. For off-grid technologies, EnDev supports Micro Hydro Debt Fund (MHDF), administered by Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC). In addition, Improved Water Mills Electrification (IWME) is implemented by SNV to support up to 5kW systems in rural villages. 

EnDev also supports communities to engage in productive use (PU) and promotion of grid electricity, in order to enhance their sustainability. It is conducted in cooperation with Helvetas Swiss Inter cooperation and the National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal (NACEUN). Lastly, an results-based financing (RBF) facility on hood stoves is implemented by Practical Action Nepal and supported under the implementation infrastructure of the EnDev core activities.

Energy Situation

Only 76 per cent of Nepalese people has access to electricity. Despite vast hydropower resources in Nepal, a general shortage of electricity has resulted in massive scheduled power cuts. The country’s current dependence on large centralised hydropower is especially obvious during the dry season, forcing the Nepalese Electricity Authority (NEA) to cut power up to 16 hours per day. Moreover, there is a significant urban-rural disparity, with about 94 per cent of city dwellers benefiting from a connection compared to just 61 per cent of the rural population. With no major fossil resources, people in rural areas still rely heavily on traditional sources of energy, and many use kerosene lamps and candles for lighting. Firewood has a large share in cooking energy, stressing the country’s forest resources. The shortfalls in the power supply curtail opportunities for education, quality health care, and access to information as well as the potential for income generation.

For more information see energypedia.

Technologies grid extension, hydropower, improved cookstoves (ICS)
EnDev 1 September 2008 - December 2009
EnDev 2 May 2009 - December 2019
Partners Ministry of Energy Water Resources and Irrigation (MoEWEI) / Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) / Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal (NACEUN)
Implementers GIZ, Practical Action, SNV
Outcomes (12/2019) Access to electricity:
  • 294,657 people

Access to modern cooking energy:

  • 106,355 people

Access to modern energy services

  • 776 social institutions
  • 4,221 SMEs

Figures reflect the non-adjusted sum of EnDev 1 and EnDev 2 outcomes. Read more in EnDev's Monitoring


EnDev Nepal follows three approaches to provide electricity and clean cooking technology to rural communities. The country project supports the National Rural Electrification Programme implemented by the national utility (NEA) for grid extension. EnDev signed a grant agreement with NEA to partially finance grid extension to Community Rural Electrification Entities (CREE) through loans to communities. The repayment of these loans from the communities to NEA turns into a revolving fund for CREEs. EnDev provides organisational, technical, and financial support to the CREEs that manage electricity distribution within the community, and provides all necessary training to employees to operate as independent village utility. In total, 55 CREEs have been supported within the scheme. The repayment of these funds from the communities to NEA shall turn into a revolving fund for further support to CREEs in future. Despite the success, during this year’s CREEs have also observed that still many households are not connected to the lines mainly due to the high initial connection investment costs. Thus, the present grid densification programme deals with this issue by providing an incentive to those CREEs that can enable poor households with effective access to the grid while at the same time promoting productive uses of electricity in their operation areas. 

The second component supports the efforts of remote communities to gain access to electricity from micro-hydro power plants via a dedicated debt fund: The Micro Hydro Debt Fund (MHDF). This enables the communities to repay the high upfront costs over a long period of time and encourages commercial banks to finance micro-hydro projects in rural Nepal. The MHDF is aligned with the new multi-donor funded National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme for the energy sector in Nepal. 29 micro hydropower plants which received funding from the MHDF are already in operation. In addition, Improved Water Mills Electrification is implemented by SNV on behalf of EnDev to upgrade improved water mills to generate 3-5 kW electricity for mini-grids. 40 watermills are completed so far.

The third project component is a results-based financing facility on improved cookstoves, implemented by Practical Action Nepal and led by EnDev. 

EnDev Nepal supports CREEs to engage in productive use promotion of grid electricity, in order to enhance the sustainability of CREEs. This is conducted in cooperation with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation and the National Association of Community Electricity Users Nepal. Enterprise development and employment generation are promoted through training of personnel with business affinity in various entrepreneurial skills.

Further Information

The factsheet on this country project is available for download here.
EnDev Nepal created an overview map with all of its current project locations, sorted by technology. To see the map, click here.
If you are interested in success stories from the country project, see here.