No other region in South Asia suffers as much from the effects of climate change and the threat of a looming energy crisis as the remote, off-grid, high altitude mountain region of the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH). Living conditions in the mountains are harsh, and many people are vulnerable and marginalized. Despite strong demand for decentralized sustainable energy solutions in the HKH, especially in off-grid mountain areas, a broad range of barriers, including policy and regulatory obstacles, outdated technology, and a lack of capacity and of finance, have prevented the region from taking full advantage of existing and potential renewable energy sources.
To address these challenges, ICIMOD and UNIDO, with financial support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), are partnering to establish a regional renewable energy and energy efficiency center as part of the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC) Program. To assess the added value, feasibility, as well as technical and institutional design of such a potential center, a consultative preparatory process was launched in July 2016. As part of the process a Baseline and Needs Assessment was developed. The report incorporates the provided feedback of key stakeholders which participated in the REEECH validation workshop, held from 1 to 2 December 2017, in Kathmandu, Nepal.