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Revitalizing Energy & Water Services in Nepal’s Urban Areas: A Conclave

Hello, I'm James Hancock from Swanbarton Ltd, and I recently had the privilege to be a panellist at a conclave held in Nepal on 7th February 2023. The event, organised by Gham Power, GSMA Digital Utilities, and Diyalo, was an enlightening gathering of minds, focusing on the improvement of urban energy and water services in Nepal.

The event was a melting pot of ideas, with over 75 attendees participating in roundtable and panel discussions. We delved into the challenges of urban energy in Nepal, exploring potential countermeasures through digitisation and the crucial role of public-private partnerships in scaling energy digitisation.

One of the key takeaways from the event was the importance of innovative strategies to tackle the challenges associated with energy digitisation and storage in Nepal. The implementation of smart card systems and the adoption of digital metering were among the solutions proposed.

During the panel discussions, I had the opportunity to discuss the GRIPS project, an initiative that Swanbarton Ltd is proud to be a part of. GRIPS is designed to revolutionise the way we approach energy, integrating solar power and smart batteries to create a self-sustaining power supply. We're also working on automated power switching to ensure uninterrupted and cheaper electricity, and maintaining grid resilience by providing a reliable energy flow during outages.

The GRIPS project is not just about technological innovation, but also about inclusivity. We're committed to driving an inclusive energy transition, suggesting gender equity and social inclusion (GESI)-sensitive policy reforms.

Our project has five main goals:

  1. Demonstrate Smart Storage: We aim to optimise the use of solar and low-cost night-rate grid energy, reduce the import of high-carbon electricity from India, and increase energy security in Nepal.

  2. Develop Responsive PV & Storage: We're working on a system that can seamlessly switch to island mode during grid outages, thus avoiding the use of diesel generation.

  3. Highlight a Business Case: We're keen to demonstrate how network-edge energy storage and renewable generation can reduce the cost of power in Nepal.

  4. Advance Gender Equality and Social Inclusion: We believe the energy transition should work for everyone equally, and we're focused on achieving GESI goals.

  5. Enable Policy Change: We're striving to make energy storage more viable in Nepal by demonstrating the benefits of our technology to policy stakeholders.

The GRIPS project is a collaborative effort between Swanbarton Ltd, Gham Power, HiT Power Ltd, Scene Connect, and Practical Action Consulting. We're also fortunate to have the insight of external advisors from the Nepalese energy industry.

The conclave was a testament to the power of collaboration and innovative thinking. As we move forward, I'm excited to see how these discussions and the GRIPS project will contribute to the advancement of energy and water services in Nepal.


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