ADB is helping Bhutan reach its target of providing electricity to all rural households. The project will connect households to on-grid electricity supplies sourced from hydropower. Homes in remote areas that cannot be readily connected to the grid will get solar power packs. The project will also help establish pilot wind power and biogas production plants.
|Project Name||Rural Renewable Energy Development Project|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Grant
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Private sector development
|Sector / Subsector||
Energy / Electricity transmission and distribution - Renewable energy generation - biomass and waste - Renewable energy generation - solar - Renewable energy generation - wind
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The Rural Renewable Energy Development Project (the Project) will help Bhutan (i) expand rural electrification for all households, and (ii) sustain its operations and energy security, through a mix of clean energy supply sourced from hydropower, solar, wind, and biogas. The Project has four components: (i) on-grid rural electrification (RE), (ii) off-grid solar RE, (iii) establishment and grid-connection of pilot wind power generation mills, and (iv) a pilot program to promote biogas plants. The project areas are scattered throughout the country and the executing agency will be the Department of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
In Bhutan, domestic demand for electricity has been growing by 17% per year on average over these 5 years. This demand growth is expected to escalate in the long run due to the increase in the number of new customers connecting as ongoing rural electrification is completed. Experiences with rural electrification indicate that overall electricity consumption will increase as rural economies develop and households increasingly rely on electricity and acquire new appliances. Bhutan has already experienced power shortages, particularly in the dry winter periods when hydropower generation is reduced due to low river flows. Despite the nation's annual net power surplus, Bhutan's power generation from run-of-the-river hydropower plants is very seasonal, as the water flows and levels are difficult to control in the dry season. Consequently, the existing generation systems have been unable to meet the recent fast-growing demand during the dry winter peak periods. In the last two winters, the BPC has been forced to limit power supply to industry, resulting in economic and revenue losses. In the 2010 winter, it is estimated that the power generation shortfall against the growing demand will be around 25 MW, which will have significant impacts on industry's production. The Druk Green Power Corporation (a state-owned generation company) also reported that levels of water flow in rivers had been declining in the past 2 years due to changes of monsoon patterns, leading to less hydropower production. Increased power imports from India would not be feasible due to more severe power deficits on the Indian side.
To improve national energy security, the DOE intends to issue the Renewable Energy Policy that aims to promote alternative renewable energy sources other than large hydropower, and diversify the energy supply base through wind, solar, biomass, and small and micro hydropower. Based on wind mapping data and subsequent surveys, the pilot wind power mills are designed to support this objective. Since wider rural electrification coverage is expected to make the domestic demand supply balance even tighter, additional alternative energy sources will need to be developed to meet the country's demand without reducing exports of surplus power and its revenue-earning opportunity. It will be an option to export additional power from renewable energy to neighboring countries if there is surplus power in the future.
|Impact||Sustained inclusive economic growth through reliable and affordable clean energy services|
|Description of Outcome||Expanded coverage and mix of clean energy supply in a sustainable manner|
|Progress Toward Outcome||
- Expanded coverage ratio up to 99.9% by both on-grid connection and off-grid electrification.
- Expanded mix of clean energy supply by completion of wind power plants, construction of more biogas plants than the target, and installation and rehabilitation of solar systems.
- Village Electrical Entrepreneur and Electrical Technicians (VEEETs) has been engaged and are working for O&M.
|Description of Project Outputs||
On-grid rural electrification sourced from hydropower, and its related skill training and livelihood improvement activities
Off-grid rural electrification sourced from solar power, and its related skill training and livelihood improvement activities
Wind power generation plants
Domestic biogas plants
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
[On-grid] 5,891 households(HH) were already electrified against the targeted 5,075 HH.
[Off-grid] (a) For the installation and rehabilitation, BPC and DRE agreed to engage a consultant to update the exact number & location of HH which require the solar home systems since some of the HH are already extended grid connection.
1,121 new solar home lighting systems have been installed as of April 2017, and 1,675 sets of old solar home systems were rehabilitated.
(b) Training, livelihood improvement and disbtirubtion of manuals are ongoing.
[Wind power] Construction of wind power plants in Wangdue was successfully completed in Jan 2016.
[Biogas] 4,965 biogas plants have been constructed as of December 2017, against the targeted 4,600 plants. These were well-recognized by users and public awareness has been well-developed. 10,500 have attended the awareness building workshops; 2,745 have attended O&M training, and 817 attended construction training.
|Geographical Location||Chhukha Dzongkhag, Gasa, Lhuentse Dzongkhag, Mongar Dzongkhag, Samdrup Jongkhar, Samtse Dzongkhag, Sarpang Dzongkhag, Trashi Yangste, Trashigang Dzongkhag, Tsimalakha, Tsirang Dzongkhag, Zhemgang Dzongkhag|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Environmental Aspects||The initial environmental examination and the resettlement plan were prepared following ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) and the government's related guidelines, policies, and legislation.|
|Involuntary Resettlement||The initial environmental examination and the resettlement plan were prepared following ADB's Safeguard Policy Statement (2009) and the government's related guidelines, policies, and legislation.|
|Indigenous Peoples||No indigenous peoples impact is expected as there is no indigenous peoples group in the project areas.|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||Project stakeholders and affected people have been consulted throughout the project design and planning phases.|
|During Project Implementation||The consultation will be continued throughout the implementation phase as required by the Safeguard Policy Statement 2009.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Takayuki Sugimoto|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Energy Division, SARD|
Department of Energy
|Approval||29 Oct 2010|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|PDS Creation Date||07 Oct 2010|
|Last PDS Update||19 Sep 2018|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|29 Oct 2010||13 Dec 2010||22 Mar 2011||31 Dec 2015||31 Dec 2017||10 Apr 2019|
|Financing Plan||Grant Utilization|
|Total (Amount in US$ million)||Date||ADB||Others||Net Percentage|
|Project Cost||24.91||Cumulative Contract Awards|
|ADB||21.59||29 Oct 2010||21.03||0.00||97%|
|Cofinancing||0.00||29 Oct 2010||21.03||0.00||97%|
|Status of Covenants|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Bhutan: Rural Renewable Energy Development Project||Validations of Project Completion Reports||Feb 2021|
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Maximizing Access to Energy for the Poor in Developing Asia||Brochures and Flyers||Dec 2013|
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
No tenders for this project were found.
|Contract Title||Approval Number||Contract Date||Contractor||Contractor Address||Executing Agency||Contract Description||Total Contract Amount (US$)||Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)|
|Consultancy Services for the Implementation of Biogas Pilot Project||Grant 0228||14 Feb 2017||Netherlands Development Organization (SNV)||Bhutan||Department of Energy||Consultancy Services for the Implementation of Biogas Pilot Project||1,330,833.09||—|
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Rural Renewable Energy Development Project: Procurement Plan||Procurement Plans||Sep 2010|