Bhutan to Generate 6.5MW of Renewable Energy

“We’re planning to generate five megawatts (MW) of electricity from solar power and at least 1.5MW from wind turbines,” said Mewang Gyeltshen, the director of the Department of Renewable Energy (DRE).

Information from the Department of Renewable Energy, Bhutan (Source: http://www.kuenselonline.com)

 

Bhutan is expected to invest more in the renewable energy sector in the next five years, according to the Department of Renewable Energy (DRE) director Mewang Gyeltshen.

“We’re planning to generate five megawatts (MW) of electricity from solar power and at least 1.5MW from wind turbines,” he said.

Success of the first two wind turbines

The country charted a new course in renewable energy sector when in 2015 the first two wind turbines in Wangdue, built with a USD 2.98 million Asian Development Bank grant, began producing electricity.

The two wind turbines in Rubesa, opposite the Wangduephodrang dzong produce 600-kilowatts (KW) of energy, enough to light up more than 100 village homes. The country’s pilot wind power project generates about 1.21 million units of energy and earns about Nu 2.5M in revenue annually.

After the success of the pilot project, the DRE has identified two more sites for more wind turbine projects in the next plan.

The department’s preliminary study found that the ridge above the Nyizergang Lhakhang could accommodate more than half a dozen wind turbines.

“The whole ridge above the temple could produce about 12MW of energy but we’re keeping our targets modest,” he said. “Our target is to produce at least 1.5MW and connect it to the grid.”

The other site is the road on the way to Gase Tshogom gewog.

“We’re investigating at the moment and will install a 50m tall wind masts at both the sites to see how much energy we can produce,” he said.

Tshimasham in Chukha, Chelela in Haa and Rubesa in Wangdue were sites initially chosen for capacity and feasibility study in 2009.

These places are mostly windy in the afternoon and at night. “Wangdue dzongkhag has huge potential for wind power,” he said.

Generating energy from Solar Panels

The country will also see the first large-scale solar panels at Shingkhar in Bumthang and Longtoe, which is located right after descending from Pelela towards Tangsibje in Trongsa.

While the departments estimate that the project in Shingkhar will produce about 30MW, the expansive grazing land will be covered with panels producing between 25 to 30MW of energy. The department will complete a feasibility study of setting up the power plant towards the end of 2017.

The department has distributed about 2,000 units of solar home lighting to rural households across the country. The demand for individual home solar lighting units will lessen as more households are connected with grid electricity.

“That’s why we’re moving towards producing electricity from solar energy and connecting to the national grid system,” he said.

The director said that investment could not be made in renewable energy so far because the unit cost of doing so is higher compared to using hydropower. “We’ll also distribute large solar water heating systems to major hotels in the country on a cost-sharing basis.”

 

By Tshering Palden (This article has been edited for the Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 


Related Posts

Thimphu TechPark aims to attract foreign investment

The main mission of the company is to attract reputed IT/ITES companies from both within Bhutan and around the world to...

Oct 01, 2017 17:37

Another Techpark in Bhutan by 2019

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) will establish another Techpark by 2019. This is geared towards...

Oct 17, 2017 09:38

Hydropower Revenue to be Set Aside as Part of Stabilisation Fund

The revenue generated by the three major hydropower projects - Mangdechhu and Punatsangchhu I and II will be set aside...

Oct 18, 2017 10:52

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served...

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters...

Jul 14, 2018 14:23

White Button Mushroom Trial Cultivation A Success In Chukha,...

In April this year, four areas were identified in Darla (Tala), Chasilakha and Tsimalakha for the trial programme.

Jul 09, 2018 18:27

Bhutanese Couple From Bhur Starts Bonsai Business Using Local...

"Bonsai making is an art and it is quite addictive.”

Jul 04, 2018 14:48

Latest

News

Drukair Orders New Aircraft That's Equipped With Latest Visual Technology

The new ClearVision technology on the aircraft allows pilots to get a clear picture of the runway while landing the aircraft.

Jul 19, 2018 12:47

After 9 Years, The Amochhu Bridge In Bhutan Finally Opened On 14 July 2018

The driving distance between Phuentsholing and Samtse is now reduced to 57km from 81.2km

Jul 18, 2018 14:57

Features

Bhutan's climb to medicines safety

Pharmacovigilance is the science and activities relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse drug...

Jul 17, 2018 14:31

11th Golden Youth Award Camp Aims To Inspire Bhutanese Youth To Excel Holistically

The camp’s theme ‘Celebrating Unity for Excellence’, is a pledge by the youth to be advocators and agents of peace, harmony and...

Jul 12, 2018 16:14

Sports

Future Of Bhutan’s Women Football Depends On The Development Of Local Coaches

The football coach of the national women’s team, Sung Jea Lee said that there is a need to train local coaches.

Jul 08, 2018 18:16

Bhutan’s Two Young Representatives Shared Their Unforgettable Experiences At The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia

Bhutan was represented by two students, Rigzin Tenzin, 12, from Gelephu and Kinley Deki Yangzom, 12, from Lobesa Lower Secondary School,...

Jun 30, 2018 14:06

Business

Royal Bhutan Helicopter Services Has Generated Profits And Served More Than 500 Tourists And Locals Since 2016

The RBHS was launched with the primary objective of providing services during medical emergencies and natural disasters and also for tourism...

Jul 14, 2018 14:23

White Button Mushroom Trial Cultivation A Success In Chukha, Bhutan

In April this year, four areas were identified in Darla (Tala), Chasilakha and Tsimalakha for the trial programme.

Jul 09, 2018 18:27

Travel

Heading To Haa, Bhutan For The Summer Festival? Here Are Some Culinary Delights You Must Not Miss!

Savour the most delectable cuisine from the province of Haa in Bhutan.

Jul 13, 2018 14:54

Rare Masked Dances - One Of The Unique Features Of The Kholong Tshechu (Brawl Festival) In Bhutan

“Other dances like the Pha-dong chham, Sangling Ngachham, and Terchham among others are not performed in any part of the country,” said...

Jul 03, 2018 14:44

Lifestyle

Suja – Bhutanese Butter Tea Infused With Happiness To Kickstart Your Day

Traditionally, Suja is made from tea leaves, water, salt and yak butter.

Jul 17, 2018 17:19

Bhutan Film Festival Held In Sikkim To Commemorate 50 Years Of Bhutan-India Friendship Ended With Colourful Traditional Dances

Bhutanese celebrities and Sikkim’s local artists performed various traditional and cultural performances at the festival.

Jul 15, 2018 14:32

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!