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#MovingMountains WEBINAR

Renewable energy for a low-carbon pathway in the Hindu Kush Himalaya: Investment opportunities and policy perspectives





Date & Time

14 September 2022



About the webinar

This webinar aims to provide a platform for stakeholders to exchange knowledge and perspectives on the status of renewable energy solutions in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region in contribution to national climate targets and net-zero ambitions. Expected participants include investors, organisations working on energy, development partners, and the general audience interested in energy and investments needs in the HKH region.

Specifically, the event aims to

  • Discuss current policies and strategies to promote renewable energy and sustainable development in the HKH
  • Provide an overview of plans and investments in the renewable energy sector along with challenges and opportunities
  • Build stakeholders’ understanding of the potential of renewable energy and collectively identify gaps
  • Gain knowledge of the financial landscape and investment opportunities in the energy sector of the HKH mountains

This webinar is part of the activities planned in the run-up to COP27 and is being organised under the Mountains of Opportunity Investment Framework (MOIF), a special project of ICIMOD. The findings and evidence generated during this session will be shared on regional and global platforms. The MOIF is being facilitated under the Himalayan Resilience Enabling Action Programme (HI-REAP) supported by the UK Government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

The event is being jointly organised with ICIMOD’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (REEECH) Initiative under the Regional Programme on Adaptation and Resilience Building.


Background: Climate action in the Hindu Kush Himalaya

The decade spanning 2020–2030 is critical for climate action. The year 2021 was pivotal since parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) communicated their updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to limit warming to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels. These contributions will also allow the parties to increase their ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and make finance flows consistent with climate-resilient and low-carbon development pathways. The year 2030 will also be a crucial milestone in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

The HKH region, which extends from Afghanistan in the west to Myanmar in the east, crossing Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh, is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. A 1.5°C increase in global temperature will likely result in a 2.1°C increase in temperature by the end of the century in the HKH due to elevation-dependent warming. This will expose 240 million people living in the mountains and hills and over 1.6 billion downstream to climate-induced impacts.

In a landmark event, the eight HKH countries signed the Ministerial Declaration and launched the HKH Call to Action during the HKH Ministerial Mountain Summit 2020. This declaration focused on sustaining mountain environments and improving livelihoods in the HKH. This historic agreement highlights the need for regional collaboration and ambitious climate action to limit global warming to 1.5°C and adapt to climate change impacts.

As per the updated NDCs and pledges made at COP26 and later, many of the HKH countries have set net-zero goals with considerable focus on energy transition. As a result, there is a need to understand the efforts, pathways, and contributions to the energy transition which can be made in the HKH region.



Time (NPT) Programme
10:30–10:45 Welcome and remarks

–  Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD

Context setting

–  Pugazenthi Dhananjayan, Energy Analyst, ICIMOD

–  Avishek Malla, Energy Specialist, ICIMOD

10:45–12:15 Technical session

Mohammad Sulaiman Nasiri, Chief Executive Officer, Growth Consulting, Afghanistan

Huzur Ali, Joint Secretary, Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board (CHT), Bangladesh

Dechen Dema, Executive Engineer, Department of Renewable Energy (DRE), Bhutan

Li Dong, Director Science and Technology Department, Chinese Academy of Sciences Chengdu, China

Jeevan Kumar Jethani, Sr. Director/Scientist-F, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), India

Nawa Raj Dhakal, Deputy Executive Director, Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC), Nepal

Shah Jahan Mirza, Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), Pakistan

Moderator: Deepshikha Sharma, Climate and Environment Specialist, ICIMOD

12:15–12:45 Q&A
12:45–13:00 Closing remarks

Mewang Gyeltshen, Programme Coordinator, REEECH, ICIMOD


Mountains of Opportunity Investment Framework

In 2021, ICIMOD campaigned (#HKH2Glasgow) for an urgent call for climate action for the HKH at COP26, in line with the HKH Call to Action. This campaign also included the proposal for the Mountains of Opportunities Investment Framework (MOIF), endorsed by the HKH countries, to scale up investments in mountain-specific climate priorities. This year, we have further advanced the plans for the investment framework, noting that successful implementation would entail:

  • Building evidence in support of decision making to channel investments in the HKH priority areas
  • Improving connections, interactions, and partnerships between different actors in mountain development
  • Amplifying the voices of mountain communities globally for more significant investments


Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Hindu Kush Himalaya Initiative

The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Capability for the Hindu Kush Himalaya (REEECH) Initiative at ICIMOD functions as a regional hub and think-tank with a mountain focus under the umbrella of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) to accelerate universal energy access in the HKH region and to place mountain energy issues prominently on the global sustainable development and climate agenda. REEECH provides a coordination mechanism to foster South–South cooperation for improved access to decentralised sustainable energy solutions for HKH communities and actively promotes the scaling up of climate-resilient sustainable energy markets, industries, and innovation customised for the off-grid mountainous areas of the HKH. The initiative will strengthen adaptation and resilience-building solution packages by identifying options for green agriculture and tourism value chains, promoting inclusive and diversified enterprises and jobs, and enhancing wellbeing.



Deepshikha Sharma is a Climate and Environment Specialist at ICIMOD. With a PhD in Natural Resource Management, she has more than 15 years of experience in water and environment, climate change, and renewable energy working at national and international organisations in the South Asia region. Currently, she is leading a special project on developing the Mountains of Opportunity Investment Framework to leverage investments in the HKH to address mountain-specific climate adaptation and resilience and support countries meet net-zero targets, leading to green, resilient, inclusive mountain development.

Pugazenthi Dhananjayan is an Energy Analyst at ICIMOD. He brings over 10 years of experience in research and project management in the energy domain. He has worked on a wide range of projects in the domain of clean energy, energy efficiency, energy policy, rural livelihoods, gender, clean cooking, and sustainable development. He has executed projects funded by various multilateral and bilateral funding agencies.

Avishek Malla is an Energy Specialist at ICIMOD. He has 15 years of experience in applied renewable energy in Nepal and in the international market and has worked in various positions within the private sector, government, academia, and multilateral and bilateral agencies. He also has experience with the development and deployment of renewable energy, including applications, business models, financing, and policy. His role at ICIMOD is to provide support for promoting and scaling appropriate renewable energy services and solutions that improve and protect the livelihoods and wellbeing of people and the environment.

Mewang Gyeltshen is the Programme Coordinator of the REEECH Initiative at ICIMOD. He focuses on improving access to appropriate, modern, reliable, and affordable energy services to meet the social and economic developmental needs of mountain communities. He also helps safeguard essential mountain ecosystem services by providing evidence from the ground up and tapping the full potential of mountain youth and women towards renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions.

Sulaiman Nasiri serves as the CEO of Fast Growth Consulting (FGC) in Afghanistan. He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration and years of experience in the areas of business management, corporate governance, growth, and livelihood. His company has delivered projects in sectors such as DRR, FSL, WASH, building resilience, adoption of renewable energy, and community development in Afghanistan.

Under Nasiri’s leadership, FGC is leading SME growth in different areas, mainly in renewable energy, livelihood, and resilience.

Huzur Ali is the Joint Secretary of Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board, Bangladesh. He has experience in the energy domain and has worked closely with ICIMOD.

Dechen Dema is an Executive Engineer working at the Department of Renewable Energy (DRE) in Bhutan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. She holds a Master’s degree in Renewable and Sustainable Energy from Murdoch University in Perth, Western Australia. Prior to joining DRE, she worked with the Department of Engineering Services under the Ministry of Works and Human Settlement. She has more than 10 years of experience working with the Royal Government of Bhutan.
Currently at DRE, she is focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. She is also working towards promoting the use of clean, affordable, and reliable renewable energy systems and promoting energy efficiency and conservation measures through energy-efficient technologies and appropriate behavioural changes.

Li Dong, is the Director of the Biomass Energy Group at the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also the Executive Vice-Director of the Southwest Branch of National Engineering Experiment Center for Pollution Control and Resource Recovery of Livestock and Poultry Breeding. His research focuses on resource utilisation of urban and rural organic waste and the development of carbon neutralisation technology. In recent years, he has undertaken and participated in more than 30 national and province-level projects at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has published more than 80 papers and has 40 authorized patents. He has received six provincial and ministerial awards.

Jeevan Kumar Jethani is a Senior Director/Scientist-F in the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. He has been involved in the power/renewable energy sector for around 30 years and has experience in power generation, transmission, and distribution in the state of Rajasthan. At MNRE, he was a part of the core team for formulating and implementing the National Solar Mission and the national renewable policy and regulatory framework. He was associated with the formulation of the Green Energy Corridors project and its implementation framework and was instrumental in the preparation of the Repowering Policy, National Wind-Solar Hybrid Policy, Wind Bidding Scheme, etc. Presently, he is heading the Rooftop Solar and Off-grid Solar Division at MNRE.

Nawa Raj Dhakal is the Deputy Executive Director at Alternative Energy Promotion Center, Nepal. He has over 20 years of experience in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate change. He has a proven track record across the areas of policy and strategy formulation, planning and resource mobilisation, programme management, organisation development, and capacity building. He has worked in multi-stakeholder environments to successfully implement multiple programmes and projects in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate finance. He successfully led the process of accreditation of the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre as the Direct Access Entity to Green Climate Fund. He also closely facilitated the process for Nepal’s membership to the International Renewable Energy Agency. He has an MSc in Renewable Energy from Naresuan University, Thailand, and an MSc in Environmental Microbiology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Shah Jahan Mirza is currently serving as the Managing Director of the Private Power and Infrastructure Board, which is a one-window facilitator in the Government of Pakistan that implements power policies and facilitates investors in the development of power generation and infrastructure projects. He also serves as the CEO at the Alternative Energy Development Board. He has more than 35 years’ professional experience in the areas of evaluation, development and financing of large-scale power generation and infrastructure projects, facilitation of investors, strategic management, policy formulation, public procurement, contract administration, tariff structuring, and regulatory affairs.