Thimphu, 16 July 2020 – The Secretary of the Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC), Mr. Thinley Namgyel, and the Head of the Austrian Development Coordination´s Office in Thimphu, Mr. Johannes Binder (PhD), signed the Grant Contract of Euro 1.1 Mio (ca Nu.93 million), on the final phase of the project Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies in the Building Sector on 16 July at Tashichhoedzong.
This transformative support will not only shape the future renewable energy options in Bhutan, but will also contribute to savings in energy consumption through the installation of energy efficiency measures in the building sector. In this way, the project will strengthen the institutional capacities of the Departments of Renewable Energy and Engineering Services to promote wider adoption of solar water heating systems and application and testing of green and energy efficient measures in existing buildings. Supported by a practical and cost-effective subsidy scheme, rooftops of 10 residential, 10 commercial and 25 public institutions will be equipped with solar water heating systems. One public building will be retrofitted with energy-efficient measures. By involving artisans, especially plumbers, bricklayers and stone masons, carpenters and joiners, glazier/glass workers, plasterers, the project will create a Bhutanese workforce skilled in installing and maintaining solar water heating systems and the use of energy efficient materials.
Mr. Johannes Binder said that the project ultimately supports the diversification of alternative energy resources (due to solar heating/cooling) and options for energy savings (energy efficiency) in the public and private sector and but also increases comfort and health at house hold level, public administration buildings and hotels with better building material, insulation and heating solutions. These new solutions will be applied in various topographical/climate zones in Bhutan. It is therefore important to establish a strong partnership between the public and private sector and the residents for sound policies, application, and maintenance.
The current support is a continuation of the previous support, which provided an enabling framework for the use of solar thermal energy and improving the energy performance of buildings.
Austrian Development Agency (ADA)
The Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, supports countries in Africa, Asia, Southeast- and Eastern Europe in their sustainable development efforts. Together with public institutions, non-government organisations and businesses, ADA currently implements projects and programmes with a total volume of EUR 500 million.