Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood


Renewable Energy for Rural Livelihood (RERL) is a joint project of Government of Nepal (GoN) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The project has been operational since 2011 after the closure of Rural Energy Development Programme (REDP) with the main objective of supporting Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) to scaleup renewable energy project implementation. Since 2019, RERL has also been providing technical support to AEPC to implement South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) to install 4.3MW mini hydropower projects and 0.5MW solar/solar wind hybrid mini grids in off-grid areas of Nepal. 


Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) has been implementing the off-grid energy component of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) project since 2015 for a period up to 2021, designed to be implemented with financial assistance of ADB and technical assistance (TA) of AEPC’s National Rural and Renewable Energy Programme (NRREP). However, with the phasing out of NRREP in mid-2017, AEPC initiated the implementation of the SASEC project through its GEF-UNDP funded RERL As both SASEC and RERL had been working closely for meeting the physical targets of both the projects under complementarity approach,  AEPC and UNDP agreed to continue RERL TA for implementation of SASEC Subprojects in March 2020.

The TA primarily focuses on community mobilization, institution establishment and strengthening, construction supervision, productive energy end use (PEU) promotion and capacity development for smooth operation and management. RERL is working in 9 mini hydropower projects and 9 solar or solar-wind hybrid mini grids in different parts of the country.

Major Achievements

  • Completed construction of 9 Solar/Solar Wind Hybrid Mini Grid (SMG) with total capacity of 565kW which provides electricity access to 1,632 households of which 127 are women headed and 971 belong to disadvantaged groups (DAG) as defined by GoN.
  • Completed construction of 3 Mini Hydropower Projects with total capacity of 600kW providing electricity access to 2,703 rural households.
  • 2645 community people of whom 49% are women, received different trainings and capacity development support
  • Out of 157 executive members of cooperatives/users’ groups involved in development/operation of RE projects, 31% are women.  
  • Supported to establish 380 enterprises, out of which 155 of 41% are women led and provide employment to 561 people of whom 258 or 46% are women.

9 Solar/Solar Wind Hybrid

Mini Grid constructed providing electricity access to 1,632 households

3 Mini Hydropower

Projects constructed providing electricity access to 2,703 rural households.

390 enterprises

established in solar mini grids

GESI Component

The project has been mainstreaming GESI at every steps. GESI Action Plan of RERL has been implemented in all stages of the mini hydro cycle which requires 30% participation of women in decision making bodies and 30% participants in capacity development activities. So far 35% women in their Executive Committees both in solar mini grid (SMG) and mini hydro (MHP) projects.

In addition, the project helps identify potential enterprises that can engage women in the communities where MHP and SMG are operational. As of now, women and members of marginalized communities were encouraged to engage in regular saving and credit schemes and over 3000 women are involved in 200 groups which is more than 91% of the total members. 

Furthermore, project requires electricity access to 30,500 households out of which 30% have to be from marginalized groups such as female headed, below poverty line and disadvantaged groups as defined by the GoN. As the energy projects built under RERL are located at remote off-grid areas, most of the households fall within the aforementioned three categories. Out of 21,409 households served by the 9 completed SMGs or 7 MHPs that are completed, under construction or planned to be initiated soon, 12% are women headed, 53% belong to DAG and 18% belong to BPL.

The project has provided cooperative management, financial literacy, social mobilization, basic accounting and enterprise development trainings for 2,073 members of cooperatives of whom 1,534 were women which is 61% of the total participants. 

Women are supported to access additional fund based on AEPC subsidy policy and delivery mechanism. Further, women are also supported on skill development, book-keeping and financial management, access to finance and other services necessary to establish and operate businesses. So far, RERL has supported to establish 380 enterprises out of mainly in SMG projects, out of which 155 or 41% are women led and provide employment to 561 people of whom 258 or 46% are women.

Related Materials



Project details:

Project StatusActive
Project PeriodJuly 2019 - June 2024
Geographic CoverageSelected municipalities of Baitadi, Kailali, Surkhet, Jumla, Mugu, Rukum, Rolpa,
Sindhuli, Okhaldhunga, Solukhumbu, Morang, Taplejung and Panchthar districts
Focus AreaEnergy, Environment, Climate and Disaster Risk Management
Implemented byAlternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC)
of the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation
Donors:Asian Development Bank (ADB)


Contact UNDP focal point

Pragyajan Yalamber Rai
Portfolio Manager
United Nations Development Programme
UN House, Pulchowk, Lalitpur
GPO Box 107, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-5523200
Project Focal Point

Mr. Satish Gautam
National Programme Manager
AEPC/RERL, Khumaltar, Lalitpur
Tel: 00-977-1-5547609
Government focal point

Government focal point:
Mr. Madhusudhan Adhikari
National Project Director
AEPC/RERL, New Baneshwor, Kathmandu
Tel: 00-977-1-4498013