Bhutan: Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project
The project will finance the construction of one solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant located in central-west Bhutan with a minimum total capacity of 17.38 megawatt peak (MWp). This will be the first utility scale alternative renewable power plant in the country and the first step to diversify the generation portfolio of Bhutan's hydropower dominated energy sector, creating system change and building resilience against adverse climate change impacts on the power sector. The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the Department of Renewable Energy (DRE) on solar and wind power project design, operation and maintenance and renewables grid integration. In addition, the project will provide learning opportunities and promote energy sector career paths to students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) streams, with special attention to female students.
South Asia Department
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|Project Name||Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project|
|Country / Economy||Bhutan
|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
Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Energy / Renewable energy generation - solar
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Effective gender mainstreaming|
|Description||The project will finance the construction of one solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant located in central-west Bhutan with a minimum total capacity of 17.38 megawatt peak (MWp). This will be the first utility scale alternative renewable power plant in the country and the first step to diversify the generation portfolio of Bhutan's hydropower dominated energy sector, creating system change and building resilience against adverse climate change impacts on the power sector. The project will strengthen the institutional capacity of the Department of Renewable Energy (DRE) on solar and wind power project design, operation and maintenance and renewables grid integration. In addition, the project will provide learning opportunities and promote energy sector career paths to students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) streams, with special attention to female students.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The power generation subsector almost exclusively relies on hydropower, with an installed capacity of 2,326 megawatts (MW) and 2,938 MW under construction. More than 80% of annual precipitation in the central-eastern part of the Himalayas is delivered by the summer monsoon. Long-term future precipitation trends for the area are subject to considerable uncertainty, and several patterns have emerged. Based on the most recent global climate modeling experiments, summer monsoon rainfall is predicted to increase by the mid to late 21st century, while winter precipitation is projected to decline.
The power generation of run-of-river hydropower plants directly correlates with the water flow in rivers. Glaciers have a strong modulating and buffering effect on flows, ensuring uninterrupted water supply during droughts. Glaciers in Bhutan are retreating rapidly, with area loss between 1980 and 2010 of 20%-25%. It is projected that glaciers and snow-covered areas will decrease within the region over the coming decades in response to increasing temperatures. The hydrological system will shift to a more rainfall-dominated pattern. This can imply more frequent droughts and periods of low flows outside of the monsoon season, as well as more frequent extreme high flows during the monsoon season. The loss of the buffering capacity of glaciers and snow-covered areas increases susceptibility to extreme runoff because of extreme rainfall events, and prolonged low flows.
Solar photovoltaic systems can complement hydropower in forming a more diversified electricity generation system, which, in a healthy mix, creates resilience to the impacts of changes in seasonal weather patterns and weather extremes. Bhutan's run-of-river hydropower generation drastically drops during the winter dry season (December-March) because of low precipitation, almost falling short of meeting peak demand. In the future, climate change could amplify this effect. Solar photovoltaic energy in Bhutan has an annual generation profile that complements hydropower, producing most power during the dry season. The estimate for the technical potential of solar photovoltaic generation in the country is 12,000 MW.
Carbon neutrality, climate, and disaster resilience improved (National Key Result Area 6, Twelfth Five Year Plan 2018-2023, National Key Result Area 6)
Clean energy generation system diversified to non-hydro resources
Utility scale non-hydro renewable energy generation assets established
Knowledge in climate resilient renewable energy systems improved
DRE capacity for GESI enhanced
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design|
|During Project Implementation|
The DRE will serve as the executing agency and will implement all activities under the ADB loan.
1 consulting firm package (QCBS), 45.5 person-months, internationally advertised and 1 international, individual consultant, 2.5 person-months.
The DRE will serve as the executing agency and will implement all activities under the ADB loan and grant.
1 Design-Built contract package for the design, supply and installation of the solar power plant. Open competitive bidding, internationally advertised. 4 small contract packages (RFQ).
|Responsible ADB Officer||Emma Marsden|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Energy Division, SARD|
Department of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs
|Concept Clearance||18 Nov 2020|
|Fact Finding||01 Feb 2022 to 11 Feb 2022|
|MRM||08 Jul 2022|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||17 Aug 2022|
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.
The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.
The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience: Initial Poverty and Social Analysis||Initial Poverty and Social Analysis||Nov 2020|
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.
|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience: Sephu Solar Power Plant Draft Initial Environmental Examination||Initial Environmental Examination||May 2022|
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
None currently available.
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.
|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|54142-BHU: Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project [OCB No: DRE-DB/ 01]||Invitation for Bids||Closed||08 Jul 2022||19 Sep 2022|
|PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT||Firm - Consulting||Closed||19 Jan 2022||17 Feb 2022|
|Ecological Expert (National)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||15 Dec 2020||21 Dec 2020|
|Ornithological Expert (National)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||15 Dec 2020||17 Dec 2020|
|Environment Expert (National)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||15 Dec 2020||17 Dec 2020|
|Ecological Expert||Individual - Consulting||Closed||09 Dec 2020||15 Dec 2020|
|Environment Expert||Individual - Consulting||Closed||08 Dec 2020||14 Dec 2020|
|Ornithological Expert||Individual - Consulting||Closed||07 Dec 2020||13 Dec 2020|
|Wind Power Expert||Individual - Consulting||Closed||02 Dec 2020||08 Dec 2020|
|Power System Expert, team leader||Individual - Consulting||Closed||02 Dec 2020||08 Dec 2020|
|Solar PV Expert, deputy team leader||Individual - Consulting||Closed||02 Dec 2020||08 Dec 2020|
|Financial Expert||Individual - Consulting||Closed||01 Dec 2020||07 Dec 2020|
|Economic Expert||Individual - Consulting||Closed||01 Dec 2020||07 Dec 2020|
No contracts awarded for this project were found
None currently available.