Norway is to help Bhutan achieve its target of providing access to electricity for the entire population, by granting NOK 100 million in funding over a five-year period.
The funding provided by Norway will help to secure access to electricity and other modern energy services for all the people of Bhutan, including those with lower income.
The agreement on further energy cooperation was reached at a meeting between Minister of International Development Heikki Eidsvoll Holmås and Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley in the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu.
“Norway and Bhutan have cooperated on the development of the hydropower sector for over 20 years. Like Norway, Bhutan has vast water resources. We are now expanding this cooperation,” said Mr Holmås.
The cooperation with Bhutan will be based on the principles set out in the international energy and climate change initiative (Energy +), which was launched in 2011 by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
The funding from Norway will be disbursed once results have been achieved in the form of increased access to energy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and will be used to attract commercial investments. The Asian Development Bank will be a partner in these efforts.
Some 99 % of Bhutan’s energy supply comes from hydropower. A large proportion of this is exported to India.
As well as exploiting more of its vast hydropower potential, Bhutan is seeking to develop other renewable energy sources such as wind power, solar energy and biomass power in order to secure a more robust energy supply.