• ICIMOD Publication
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Scarce data and energy research: Estimating regional energy consumption in complex economies

  • Rabindra Nepal
  • Bikash Sharma
  • M. Indraal Irsyad

Ecological concerns stemming from local energy usage generates more severe impacts on mountain economies, such as the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) — a region consisting of eight nation boundaries. However, little is known about the regional energy consumption pattern and trends in the HKH due to data scarcity making it difficult to devise effective evidence-based energy policy and planning strategies. The purpose of this study is to bridge the existing data deficit gap in the HKH region. We first estimate the HKH-specific energy consumption patterns in 2013 and then forecast the sectoral energy consumption of the region for the period 2013–2030 by using the Long-range Energy Alternatives Planning (LEAP) system model. Our results show the dominance of residential sector (57%) and conventional biomass energy (50%) in the energy consumption landscape of the HKH. Industrial activities in HKH regions are still relatively underdeveloped compared to overall national averages. Energy consumption in the HKH region is around 5% of that in the HKH countries but is projected to increase from 5.89 million terajoule (TJ) in 2013 to 7.04 million TJ in 2030. The findings emphasise the importance of further investments and research in creating and periodically updating an HKH-specific energy database to overcome data-driven development challenges. © 2019 Economic Society of Australia, Queensland

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