ISA to help boost solar initiatives in Bhutan


A high-level delegation from the International Solar Alliance (ISA), led by its Director-General, Dr Ajay Mathur, is currently visiting Bhutan to further solidify solar energy initiatives in the nation. The ongoing visit marks the signing of the Country Partnership Agreement (CPA) between the Royal Government of Bhutan and ISA.

Under this agreement, ISA will collaborate with the Department of Energy, the focal department under Bhutan’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MoENR), to further implement the programmes and projects to enhance energy access and ensure energy security through solar energy interventions and diversification of energy portfolio in Bhutan.

ISA is also working with Bhutan on developing a National Solar Energy Roadmap and provides regulatory support for developing solar tariffs, licensing and de-licensing regulations, standards, and guidelines to the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) of Bhutan.

An MoU focussing on the Solar Technology Application Resource Centre (STAR-C) initiative has been signed during the ongoing visit. ISA is collaborating with the DoE (MoENR) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to establish the STAR-C at the College of Science & Technology (CST) under the Royal University of Bhutan, with funding support from the French government. This centre aims to strengthen local capacity for the development and dissemination of solar energy technologies and provides technical assistance to accelerate the deployment of solar energy solutions.

The ISA DG visit also marked the inauguration of a modular solar-powered cold storage facility at the National Post Harvest Centre in Paro. With a storage capacity of 5MT and a power capacity of 5-kilowatt peak, this facility will enable efficient post-harvest management in Bhutan.

“The two 5MT solar cold storages established through ISA as a Pilot Project symbolises a significant step forward in our journey towards building a more resilient and sustainable future,” remarked H.E. Lyonpo Gem Tshering, minister of MoENR. “By minimising post-harvest losses and ensuring a steady supply of fresh produce, we not only bolster food security but also empower our farming communities to thrive in an increasingly uncertain climate.”

The partnership between Bhutan and the ISA began when Bhutan joined the Alliance in July 2022. Bhutan has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) to join seven of the nine ISA programmes.

The International Solar Alliance is an international organisation with 119 Member and Signatory countries. It works with governments to ease solar deployment and promote solar power as a sustainable transition to a carbon-neutral future. ISA’s mission is to unlock $1 trillion of investments in solar by 2030 while reducing technology and its financing costs. It promotes the use of solar energy in the agriculture, health, transport, and power generation sectors.


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