FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS IN NEPAL
Long term sustainability of renewable energy projects in Nepal has been challenging issue because the projects are built in with a certain amount of investment subsidy from government. After installation of the energy system, it is the responsibility of the participating community or the users to operate, maintain and manage the system. The sustainability of renewable energy projects considered largely depends on how much revenue it can generate from its users for operation, maintenance and management. Revenue from users’ depends upon multiple factors categorized as technical, financial / economic, social, institutional and environmental. As such, sustainability of the projects needs to be evaluated based on the multiple criteria in a holistic manner. The paper is built on identifying the all possible factors relating to sustainability of rural and renewable energy projects in Nepal from the perspective of all concerned people i.e. project implementers to end users, in addition to the all the stakeholders, in the changed context of climate change and green economy. The paper reviews briefly the literature on utility of multi criteria methods for sustainability assessment of renewable energy projects. Assessment of relative standing of AHP is further conducted. An appropriate AHP based framework for sustainability assessment of the projects is recommended with due consideration to identified factors of sustainability concern from peoples’ perspective with the wider representation.