KATHMANDU: Experts have emphasized the need to encourage clean electrical energy for improving the standard of living of people stating that it is high time that government promotes electric appliances in the kitchens.
Experts suggest that people use electric stoves and other electrical appliances in the kitchen to reduce the increasing import of LPG gas and increase the consumption of domestically produced electricity.
The experts were speaking at an interaction on ‘Clean Energy for Cooking’ organized by the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ), Prakriti Resources Center, and World Wildlife Fund Nepal. Stating that Nepal imports fuel worth more than Rs 200 billion per year, they highlighted the need to increase the use of clean energy for cooking.
Navraj Dhakal, Deputy Executive Director of the Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), said that sooner or later the use of electric stoves will be easy and accessible for everyone. “The government’s goal is to promote electric stoves as the basic source of cooking by the year 2030,” he added.
According to government data, 87.1 percent of the source of cooking was traditional fuel ( firewood, dung cake) in 2009 and the rate has decreased by 22 percentage points to 65 percent.
Dhakal also said that the use of alternative energy was 0.7 percent in 2009, but the rate has increased to 3 percent at present. Many people are still not used to such practices as using electric stoves and rice cookers, which are more economical than gas stoves.
At the program, Biraj Gautam, Chief Executive Officer of the People, Energy, and Environment Development Association (PEEDA), said that the role of mass media will be important in replacing traditional energy. “Many consumers will be interested in modern kitchens when uninterrupted electricity supply is assured,” Gautam said.
According to Manjari Shrestha, an experienced practitioner, the use of modern stoves saves time, improves human health, and also protects the environment from degradation.
“If the misconception that cooking and kitchen works are only for women can be changed, the number of people using electric stoves will go up,” said Shrestha.
Presenting a working paper in the program, energy journalist Bhim Gautam emphasized the need to expand infrastructure for promoting electric appliances.
” As the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation has set a goal to use electric stoves in 100 percent of households by 2028, emphasis should be placed on the electrical infrastructure. We need sufficient infrastructure, common commitment, and a clear action plan for this,” said Gautam.
Praveen Man Singh, Program Director of Prakriti Resources Center, Roshni Adhikari, chairman of NEFEJ, and other people present in the program also said that the government should give priority to incentive programs to increase the use of electric appliances.
The government has set various goals, such as reducing carbon emissions to zero by 2045. Expanding the use of electrical appliances in 500,000 households by 2025 and an additional 25 percent of households by 2030 are also key government targets.