Skip to main content

Nepal Himalaya offers considerable potential for pumped storage hydropower

Publication Type
Journal Name
Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments
Publication Date
Page Numbers
103423 to 103423

There is a pressing need for a transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy to meet the increasing energy demands and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Himalayan region, with its unique topography and abundant water resources, offers substantial renewable energy potential, particularly through hydropower generation. However, the current exploitation rate is low owing to the predominance of run-of-river hydropower systems to support the power system. The utility-scale storage facility is crucial in the load scenario of an integrated power system to manage diurnal variation, peak demand, and penetration of intermittent energy sources. In this study, we assess the potential of pumped storage hydropower across Nepal, a central Himalayan country, under multiple configurations by pairing lakes, rivers, and available flat terrains. We then identify technically feasible pairs from those of potential locations. Infrastructural, environmental, operational, and other technical constraints govern the choice of feasible locations. We show that 42% of the theoretical potential of 3000 GWh is technically feasible. We find the flat land-to-river configuration more promising than other configurations. Our findings provide insight into the potential of pumped storage hydropower and are of practical importance in planning sustainable power systems in the Himalayas and beyond.