Bhutan: Promoting Energy Security and Transition Project
The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) aims to help Bhutan diversify renewable sources and promote energy transition to more resilient energy systems with novel technologies, new approaches, and concrete strategies. Bhutan's energy is dependent on mono-resource of hydropower, export revenues of which sustain the national economy and the government's revenues. This suggests that Bhutan is vulnerable to any impacts on hydropower resources due to climate change. To alleviate concerns on energy security and aftereffects, it is necessary to push for the diversification of energy resources. Hence, the TA will support the development of schemes for rooftop solar and floating solar, and the relevant knowledge enhancement among the stakeholders. The studies will assess the resource and technical design requirements, viability, business models, safeguards, and relevant regulation and policy formation on alternative energy resources.
South Asia Department
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|Project Name||Promoting Energy Security and Transition Project|
|Country / Economy||Bhutan
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Governance and capacity development
Private sector development
|Sector / Subsector||
Energy / Renewable energy generation - solar
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Some gender elements|
|Description||The knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) aims to help Bhutan diversify renewable sources and promote energy transition to more resilient energy systems with novel technologies, new approaches, and concrete strategies. Bhutan's energy is dependent on mono-resource of hydropower, export revenues of which sustain the national economy and the government's revenues. This suggests that Bhutan is vulnerable to any impacts on hydropower resources due to climate change. To alleviate concerns on energy security and aftereffects, it is necessary to push for the diversification of energy resources. Hence, the TA will support the development of schemes for rooftop solar and floating solar, and the relevant knowledge enhancement among the stakeholders. The studies will assess the resource and technical design requirements, viability, business models, safeguards, and relevant regulation and policy formation on alternative energy resources.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
Climate and energy security. Bhutan's key economic drivers are hydropower export, tourism, and agriculture. Although the tourism business was significantly affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, hydropower exports have relatively been stable and the resultant foreign currency earning has been sustained. However, hydropower generation is dependent on the availability of water resources, which can be varied by weather and climatic conditions. This means that Bhutan's high dependency on hydropower (99.7%) renders the country vulnerable to climate change impacts, thereby raising energy security concerns.
Energy diversification. On concerns about climate and energy security, the government intends to diversify energy sources to improve energy independence. Bhutan's Sustainable Hydropower Development Policy, 2021 stipulates to enhance energy security and develop value chains based on alternative clean energy. Renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind power have different generation profiles and patterns during the year and daytime, which can be complementary in a mix of power sources with hydropower. Thus, Bhutan's Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) plans to fast-track solar development up to 200 MW over the next 3 years. For this purpose, ADB intends to finance Bhutan's first utility-scale solar photovoltaic power plant (17 MW), and support subsequent ground-mounted solar power projects in several locations. Solar power will compensate for power deficits in the dry season and increase hydropower export in the wet season by using additional solar power for domestic consumption. Given this advantage, solar power generation can be promoted and diversified further from ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power type to floating solar and rooftop solar power types.
Especially, Bhutan's floating solar power in the existing hydropower reservoir areas can bring multiple favorable conditions, including higher solar panel efficiency due to cooling effect on the water surface, no land acquisition requirement and conflict with fishing purposes, close access to grid systems within the premise of the hydropower stations, and complementary operations with hydropower's flexible generation. Rooftop solar can also be expanded in urban areas on the rooftops of buildings and houses for various applications such as electricity and water heating as well as cooking. Given the nascent stage of solar power development in Bhutan, this new technological and business areas can be demonstrated by the public sector to gradually boost private sector mobilization and create new job opportunities, particularly for women for operations and maintenance activities. The alternative domestic energy resources will help Bhutan promote energy transition and improve energy security.
Bhutan's diversification of clean energy sources promoted.
|Description of Outcome||
Readiness for project development in alternative energy resources enhanced.
|Progress Toward Outcome|
|Description of Project Outputs||
Floating solar development plans prepared
Rooftop solar business and financing models developed
Floating and rooftop solar knowledge sharing and awareness improvement among stakeholders promoted
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design|
|During Project Implementation|
|Consulting Services||ADB will engage consultants following the ADB Procurement Policy (2017, as amended from time to time) and its associated project administration instructions and/or staff instructions. The TA will require a consultancy contract with a firm, association, or joint venture, recruited through a simplified technical proposal and quality- and cost-based selection method with a qualitycost ratio of 90:10. An output-based contract will be considered.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Ogino, Kaoru|
|Responsible ADB Department||South Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Energy Division, SARD|
Department of Energy
Ministry of Economic Affairs
|Concept Clearance||20 Sep 2022|
|Fact Finding||12 Oct 2022 to 14 Oct 2022|
|Approval||05 Dec 2022|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||06 Dec 2022|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|05 Dec 2022||28 Dec 2022||28 Dec 2022||31 Jan 2026||-||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|1,000,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||1,000,000.00||04 Jan 2023||0.00|
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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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Promoting Energy Security and Transition Project: Technical Assistance Letter||Technical Assistance Letter||Dec 2022|
|Promoting Energy Security and Transition Project: Technical Assistance Report||Technical Assistance Reports||Dec 2022|
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.
None currently available.
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
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Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.
|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|CONSULTING FIRM||Firm - Consulting||Closed||25 Nov 2022||09 Dec 2022|
No contracts awarded for this project were found
None currently available.