Since the beginning of, energy has been the basic need of humanity. Human life can hardly subsist without the use of energy. From flora and fauna to environment, from agriculture to industry and from transportation to communication, every activity on earth depends on energy. The global energy need is increasing rapidly with the expansion of population and industrialization, while the conventional sources of energy are depleting at an alarming rate. Moreover, the recent environmental issues have put forward a question mark on the use of these conventional sources. Issues related to energy conservation measures, global warming and climatic change are becoming hot topics of discussion, hence, there is a demand for an alternative energy sources which is abundant, renewable and environmentally clean.
In this regard, National Planning Commission (NPC) of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, conveys the following in connection to the application of renewable energy in its Ninth Plan (1997-2002)
“The objective of the alternative energies sub-sector will be to develop a rural energy system which is directed towards poverty alleviation and oriented to rural development; to gradually substitute the use of traditional energy sources by modern and affordable energy, keeping in mind the impact of such energy use on the environment; to reduce the dependency of external sources by developing, extending and commercializing the technology of using locally available energy sources to the maximum.”
To achieve these objectives the NPC emphasized human resources development to promote, expand, establish, operate and develop alternative and other energy sources and technologies. The planning document further elaborated this policy, “Technical educational institutions (like Institute of Engineering) will be encouraged to conduct training to produce low-level, middle-level and high level personnel as per needs”. As per this guideline, Institute of Engineering has introduced a two year Master of Science in Renewable Energy Engineering (MSREE) course which will play a pivotal role in the meaningful utilization of renewable energy sources in Nepal.
The current Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007) has also emphasized Human Resource Development in renewable energy sector.
The potential for harvesting the renewable energy resources is enormous and so are the challenges, both technical and financial. However, in the world where the demand for ready to use energy is increasing every day, the challenge has to be faced with a judicious mix of optimization, exploration of ways and means of harnessing renewable energy, and energy conservation practices. MSREE program is designed to prepare professionals for the global task ahead in this direction.