The renewable energy development of Bhutan is expected to receive $21.6m financial support from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The funding will allow the country to power nearly 16,000 households with clean biogas power generated utilizing cattle dung.
The project will be carried out along with the rural electrification project currently being carried out by the Japan International Co-operation Agency and the Austrian Development Agency.
The grant expected from the ADB under the auspices of its subsidized Asian Development Fund will meet almost 87% of the total project cost of $25m. The SNV Netherlands Development Organization has agreed to offer an amount of $270,000 to sustain the biogas development and the balance will be met by the government and biogas user’s participated micro-finance system. The project being carried out by Bhutan’s Department of Energy is anticipated to get completed by June 2015.
Kaoru Ogino, ADB’s senior energy specialist, said that the project will bring in numerous ecological and developmental gains. He added that by providing total rural electrification, the country can conveniently meet its increased power demands, its energy security and above all it can perk up the life of the poor people who are living in rural areas. He added that small scale biogas plants and wind power projects are also included in the scheme. He further said that while the biogas production will substitute the use of wood for cooking, the electrical power generation from the wind turbines will help the country to meet the shortages in hydropower production during dry winter and water shortage periods.