Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies in the Building Sector of Bhutan

Contract partner: GNHC / RGoB - Gross National Happiness Commission - Royal Government of BhutanCountry: Bhutan Funding amount: € 660.900,00Project start: 01.04.2017End: 30.06.2019

Short Description:

Overall goal

The project will establish a solid foundation and an enabling framework for improving the energy performance of buildings and use of solar thermal energy. Hence it will contribute to the relevant goals of the 11th Five Years Plan of the Royal Government of Bhutan and the relevent sectoral policies, i.e. the Alternative Renewable Energy Policy 2013 and the Draft Energy Efficiency and Conservation Policy.

Expected results

The project will particularly focus in strengthening the institutional capacities of the various stake holders with the following outcomes:

Outcome 1: Solar water heating is recognised as alternative energy source to reduce electricity consumption by institutions and private sector and the framework conditions for uptake of the market have been improved.

Outcome 2: A solid basis for long term improvement of the energy performance of buildings has been created in the areas of legal framework conditions; scientific, theoretical and practical knowledge; and capacitated human resources that are able to implement energy efficient technologies for a now aware and able building & construction industry.


Target group / Beneficiaries

The project targets approximately 4005 people such as the technical professionals from the implementing agencies, policy/decision makers, builders and contractors including the designers, technicians and plumbers. The project will also benefit learning technical professionals from national technical institutes.

The Gross National Happiness Commission is the partner of this project with its implementing agencies the Department of Engineering Services under the Ministry of Works & Human Settlement and the Department of Renewable Energy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.



The main activities include conducting research activity and raising awareness of targeted beneficiaries on benefits of renewable energies and energy efficiency technologies; strengthen institutional capacity building of Department of Renewable Energy; training of the relevant stakeholder on the design, cost, benefits and operation and maintenance of solar water heating systems; develop a subsidy mechanism for the promotion of solar water heating systems; firm up the list of the potential beneficiaries of solar water heating systems; establishment of database and inventories; adaptive research of alternative energy efficiency material and technology; capacity for energy efficiency building design and technology developed; update Bhutan Building Rules with energy efficiency components; design of integrated energy efficient building.


Initial studies have shown local construction materials to be more efficient than imported fired bricks. Energy efficiency of almost all buildings in the country is below what any standard would recommend. Furthermore, the lack of any policies or rules on energy efficiency in buildings necessitates the update of existing rules which shall be pivotal to the implementation of EE in buildings. Through this project the aforementioned activities shall be carried out incorporating basic energy efficiency components in the Bhutan Building Rules. The Alternative Renweable Energy Policy has the target to achieve 3 MW equivalent of energy generation from the installation of solar water heating systems by year 2025.

The contribution is in line with Austria’s programmes under the Austria – Bhutan Country Strategy 2014-2018 and projected under the 11th Five Year Plan of the Royal Government of Bhutan as well as to the SDGs 7, 8, 9, 11, 12 and 13.

project number2791-00/2015
source of fundingOEZA
sector Energiegewinnung, -Verteilung und -Effizienz, allgemein
modalityProject-type interventions
marker Environment: 2, Climate change mitigation: 2, Climate change adaptation: 1, Gender: 1
  • Policy marker: are used to identify, assess and facilitate the monitoring of activities in support of policy objectives concerning gender equality, aid to environment, participatory development/good governance, trade development and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Activities targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions include the identification of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and desertification.
    • 1= policy is a significant objective of the activity
    • 2= policy is the principal objective of the activity
  • Donor/ source of funding: The ADA is not only implementing projects and programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation , but also projects funded from other sources and donors such as
    • AKF - Foreign Disaster Fund of the Austrian federal government
    • BMLFUW - Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water
    • EU - Funds of the European Commission
    • Others - various other donors are listed in ADA’s annual business report.
  • Type of Aid – Aid modalities: classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds such as budget support, core contributions and pooled programmes and funds to CSOs and multilateral organisations, project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, scholarships and student costs in donor countries, debt relief, administrative costs and other in-donor expenditures.
  • Purpose/ sector code: classifies the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure, funded by a bilateral contribution.
  • Tied/Untied: Untied aid is defined as loans and grants whose proceeds are fully and freely available to finance procurement from all OECD countries and substantially all developing countries. Transactions are considered tied unless the donor has, at the time of the aid offer, clearly specified a range of countries eligible for procurement which meets the tests for “untied” aid.