Bhutan: Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project

Sovereign Project | 54142-001

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 Details

Project Name Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project
Project Number 54142-001
Country / Economy Bhutan
Project Status Proposed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Grant
Loan
Source of Funding / Amount
Grant: Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project
Asian Development Fund US$ 10.00 million
Loan: Renewable Energy for Climate Resilience Project
Concessional ordinary capital resources lending US$ 8.26 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
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.

Impact

Carbon neutrality, climate, and disaster resilience improved (National Key Result Area 6, Twelfth Five Year Plan 2018-2023, National Key Result Area 6)

Outcome

Clean energy generation system diversified to non-hydro resources

Outputs

Utility scale non-hydro renewable energy generation assets established

Knowledge in climate resilient renewable energy systems improved

DRE capacity for GESI enhanced

Geographical Location Nation-wide
Safeguard Categories
Environment B
Involuntary Resettlement C
Indigenous Peoples C
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

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.

Procurement

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
Executing Agencies
Department of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Timetable
Concept Clearance 18 Nov 2020
Fact Finding 01 Feb 2022 to 11 Feb 2022
MRM 08 Jul 2022
Approval -
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.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications

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.

Tenders

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

Contracts Awarded

No contracts awarded for this project were found


Procurement Plan

None currently available.