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Developing business plans on water lifting from micro hydro for multipurpose using PURE platform and holistic project development approaches




The Park Village Resort, Budhanilkantha

Date & Time

21 December 2023 to 22 December 2023

Organisers: ICIMOD, AEPC, EnDev

About the workshop

Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), EnDev, and ICIMOD are organising a two-day central-level workshop to support ten promising micro-hydro projects (MHPs) in developing a business plan on water lifting for multipurpose purposes. The 10 promising MHPs were shortlisted from the local-level workshops, which were conducted earlier.

The session will encompass business incubation activities and implementation modality discussion, along with other potential enterprise promotions in the catchment area (business opportunities, preliminary business plan preparation support, ensuring financial commitments from the local stakeholders) needed for smooth and sustainable project implementation in the future. The methodology of the workshop will be highly participatory and result oriented. For effective results, participatory methods such as personal exercise, group exercise, short lectures and case analysis will be used.

The workshop is jointly facilitated by the team of AEPC, ICIMOD, and EnDev in collaboration with the national level expert.


  • Support AEPC/Government of Nepal and EnDev Nepal for promoting the adoption and market development of water pumping for irrigation, livestock, rural enterprises, and community water supply, enhancing the agricultural value chain in the MHP catchment area
  • Business incubation of a maximum of 10 shortlisted MHPs users’ committee and local government units (LGU) representatives from local-level workshop
  • Facilitate/support the implementation and development of 3-4 water lifting projects for Multipurpose Use

Workshop content and approach

This workshop targets representatives from the ten most promising MHPs shortlisted from the local-level workshops. Participants will include representatives from the MHP UCs and respective LGUs.

The workshop will focus on the following key areas:

  • Orientation: Objectives and implementation modality of the MHP – water lifting project, technical aspect of project, AEPC subsidy delivery mechanism
  • Stakeholder financial commitment: Ensuring that local stakeholders are prepared to invest equity into the projects while also securing commitments from the LGUs for matching funds if required.
  • Business opportunities assessment: Exploring opportunities for business development related to the water lifting in MHP catchment areas
  • Business canvas/plan: Assisting in the initial development of comprehensive business plans for the identified project areas (products/services, market analysis, SWOT analysis, financial projections, organisations/management)
  • Developing a concise business plan template which can be replicated in other similar nature projects for the promotion of rural enterprises/PUE in MHP catchment areas


Mini and micro-hydro systems have made a significant contribution to improving electricity access in rural Nepal. Since their inception, a large number of mini and micro-hydro projects (M/MHPs) have been successfully installed throughout Nepal. Reports indicate that M/MHPs are currently underutilised. However, this also presents opportunities to enhance access to these services that can improve people’s livelihoods.

One pressing issue is the widespread water shortage in rural Nepal. Climate-induced drying of water sources, difficulty in the daily transportation of water from downstream rivers to uphill settlements and farming lands, and rain-fed subsistence farming have created a need for sustainable irrigation infrastructure, which can also lead to higher and sustainable agricultural yields. Further, many rural communities use diesel generators to lift water for irrigation, which is expensive and harmful to the environment. Utilising energy from M/MHP to lift water for irrigation and for other productive can support GoN’s in promoting irrigation to address the food-energy-water nexus and its climate interlinkages.

To identify the opportunity surrounding M/MHPs, ICIMOD, in partnership with AEPC, developed the Productive Use of Renewable Energy (PURE) platform. By simplifying intricate geospatial map layers and integrating field data, PURE offers a user-friendly, centralised platform that empowers decision-makers, investors, and implementers alike. It equips them with the necessary information to make well-informed choices and strategically leverage micro-hydro resources for productive applications, such as lift irrigation, thereby maximising the impact of renewable energy in rural Nepal.

AEPC, EnDev, and ICIMOD are working to promote water lifting for multipurpose in M/MHPs using innovative platforms such as PURE. Out of the 439 M/MHPs, 48 potential M/MHP sites across Sudurpaschim, Karnali, and Koshi provinces were identified through the PURE platform. These identified sites were organised into two clusters (Sudurpaschim and Koshi).

Two local-level workshops targeted to each cluster were organised to orient the MHP representatives about the implementation modality, ensure the need and commitment for the water lifting project development, collect preliminary socio-economic data about the project catchment area, and validate the information of the PURE platform. 10 promising MHPs were shortlisted from these workshops.