Community Electrification Sub-Component


Community Electrificaiton works on the electrification of community by Mini, Micro and Pico  hydro schemes. As per the classificaiton  schemes that generate electric power from 100 kW to 1000 kW (1 MW) capacity named are mini hydro. AEPC also works on supporting Pico-hydro (below 10 kW) including IWM electrification and other projects more than 10kW, but less than 100 kW are micro hydro at present.

The Community Electrification sub-component (CESC) within National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme aims at stepping up the rate of implementation, increasing the average size of micro hydro power schemes, and improving the sustainability and financial viability of small and mini hydropower schemes by taking a business approach. The support is primarily geared to overcome technical, financing, institutional and managerial challenges, which constitute the most serious obstacles in scaling up community electrification. 



  • Step up the rate of implementation of M/MHPs
  • Increase both the number and size of M/MHPs
  • Improve sustainability and financial viability of M/MHPs by taking a business approach 
  • Connection of power to the Grid wherever possible
  • Innovation and Scale-up the Technology
  • Capacity building of the stakeholders of the sector 
  • The subsidy to M/MHPs with capacity of up to 1000 kW will be provided based on the actual power generation and number of actual households connected
  • PHP up to 10 kW will be implemented through DDCs (DEES/Us)
  • M/MHPs more than 10 kW and up to 1000 kW  (1 MW) will be implemented through NRREP
  • IWM electrification up to 5 kW through DDC but for short shaft & long shaft IWM implemented through RSCs
  • IWM promotion is scaled-up and the technology is of a higher standard


Key Output, Activities and Approach

Output 2.10: Project management capacity for community electrification projects is in place and performing, and the number of completed projects increases at a faster rate. 

Outline of activities: 

  • Prepare a roster of private sector management consultants that can be contracted as and when needed; 
  • Elaborate training curriculum for management consultants including community mobilisation and guidance, business plan development, implementation planning and works supervision; 
  • Establish contracting modalities for management consultants, standard terms of reference, performance assessment and remuneration criteria; 
  • Provide training to project managers, including in the field, and 
  • Implement project management in all community electrification projects. 


Project managers with requisite skills and knowledge will be put in place for each project to streamline and drive the process, to oversee the service providers and to coordinate with productive energy use actors, and to ensure quality at all levels. Considerable training across the spectrum of actors is deemed necessary on a continuing basis to develop the approach. 

Output 2.11: Community electrification projects are better designed with regard to the use of the available potential, and operate at a higher load factor to be more sustainable. 

Outline of activities: 

  • Provide orientation and training to service providers at the local level and the private sector with a view to optimise project design; 
  • Assist in the elaboration (re-editing) of survey and design guidelines, as well as tender specifications;
  • Develop standard water conveyance components, such as intake structure, headrace canal, forebay and penstock; 
  • Support a sustainable approach to project development by institutionalising early engagement of productive energy use actors to achieve a viable “business case” for projects, and 
  • Design, introduce and monitor CDM and other carbon market mechanisms for the accrual of climate-related revenue streams. 


There are two considerations in full-potential hydropower site development: To maximise the head utilised, and to choose the optimal design flow. The network of local organisations needs to be expanded and enabled to improve site identification skills on this basis. Survey and design teams need to change their approach to achieve better-designed projects. On the user side, improved design concepts also involve moving from lump-sum billing for power to metered consumption and payment. Finally, productive energy use needs to be addressed before project design capacity is determined. A high load factor is the objective. Support will be required for upgrading skills and knowledge at all levels, and better coordination among all actors. 

Output 2.12: Community electrification technology (micro hydro power and other technologies) is scaled-up (in volume and unit size) and is of a higher standard. 

Outline of activities: 

  • Support larger size component manufacture and scaling up of manufacturing capacity while promoting specialisation; 
  • Introduce state of the art turbine testing and certification as a basis for supplier qualification and equipment upgrading; 
  • Conduct type-specific turbine design and associated equipment training for manufacturers; 
  • Put in place quality and technical standards, including grid connection specifications and standard Power Purchase Agreements, and 
  • Review and improve the quality assurance and verification system. 


Turbine testing in a professional laboratory is necessary as locally made turbines have so far rarely been tested. Many manufacturers copy a copy of a turbine to start with, and so-called improvements are not necessarily what they are supposed to be. Fortunately, testing will be possible in future at the full-scale Kathmandu University test lab. On the basis of lab testing it is possible to determine design and manufacturing improvements. “License to supply” may be made conditional on improved designs. The present practice of most suppliers to fabricate all metal items themselves on a project-by-project basis tends to inflate costs and produce variable quality. It needs to be replaced by specialisation to achieve economies of scale, uniform quality and increased business volume. 

Output 2.13: Improved Water Mills promotion is scaled-up and the technology is of a higher standard.

Outline of activities: 

  • Review sub-sector potential and challenges; 
  • Introduce equipment testing and certification as a basis for supplier qualification and equipment upgrading; 
  • Conduct design and engineering training for manufacturers and installers, and 
  • Provide support to Improved Water Mills service providers as needed. 


Improved Water Mill technology has existed during many years, but it is somewhat unclear to what extent the market is saturated, and how sustainable the technology is. Further, deployment of Improved Water Mills technology will require review and possibly improvement of sub-sector procedures and practices, and related support. The outlined activities are indicative, and concrete measures will need to be formulated on the basis of the review of the improved water mill sub-sector.