Asian Development Bank to Fund Bhutan's First Utility-Scale Solar Project

Oct 31, 2022 11:46 AM ET
  • The financing includes an $8.26 million concessional lending as well as an ADB-administered $10 million grant from the Asian Development Fund.
  • Bhutan wishes to move beyond hydropower sources of energy in the sight of climate modification.

Bhutan may well be relocating beyond hydropower regarding renewable energy development in the Himalayan country is concerned. In a vital development, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has actually approved a $18.26 million funding for the building of the first utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant in Bhutan.

The official declaration by ADB held that the solar project will certainly be built in central-west Bhutan as well as have a minimum total capacity of 17.38-MWp and also will certainly produce 25 GWh of electrical power each year. ADB held that the solar project will certainly aid branch out Bhutan's energy mix, which is virtually exclusively reliant on hydropower and also makes the field at risk to the impacts of climate modification.

Christoph Meindl, ADB Energy Specialist for South Asia, claimed, "This project will certainly be the country's very first major step toward branching out power generation and also enhancing the durability of its energy field to future climate shocks. Enhancing temperature levels is projected to reduce glaciers and snow-covered locations, which will move Bhutan's hydrological system to an extra rainfall-dominated pattern. This affects hydropower generation as a result of anticipated frequent dry spells outside of the monsoon season as well as severe high flows during the monsoon season."

The Financing Scheme

ADB said that the financing consists of an $8.26 million concessional loan and also an ADB-administered $10 million grant from the Asian Development Fund. The Government of Bhutan is contributing $990,000 to the project.

The upcoming solar project is supported by a technological assistance (TA) amounting $20,000 from ADB's Technical Assistance Special Fund as well as $450,000 from the Republic of Korea e-Asia and also Knowledge Partnership Fund. The TA will certainly sustain finding out opportunities on climate-resilient energy systems for greater secondary students in science, innovation, design, and also math stream in addition to the Division of Renewable Energy (DRE) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Women will constitute around 30%-- 40% of the beneficiaries of these learning programs.

In June, the Economic Affairs Minister of Bhutan, Lokhnath Sharma, said that Bhutan wants to add 300 MW of solar power in the coming years as the nation clocks a plain 9 MW of renewable energy aside from hydropower. Additionally, the Bhutan Renewable Energy Master Plan holds that the landlocked country might create 12 GW of solar and 760 MW of wind power.

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