Bhutan a step closer to joining the International Solar Alliance

According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA), Bhutan stands to gain numerous advantages if the country is a member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

MoEA Minister, Loknath Sharma, said that 88 countries around the world have joined ISA, with all UN member countries having the option to do so. ISA is expected be the world’s second-largest alliance of nations.

Lyonpo said, “It has a lot of advantages because Bhutan is also rated to have a very good solar irradiance, which is estimated to be around 12,000 Megawatts. If we can at least do solar panels, solar farms, it will help the country because you don’t have to have electricity because it has wheeling charges. In the future, there is also the possibility of households having their own solar power, so that they can use their own energy and sell the surplus, despite the fact that this is a new concept, for which we are working on tariffs and regulations.”

Lyonpo Loknath Sharma said solar power would complement hydropower, which will help in attaining energy security, and not be reliant on imports. He introduced the framework agreement on the establishment of the International Solar Alliance, which aims to overcome significant common hurdles to scaling up solar energy to meet the needs of member countries jointly, in the National Assembly.

He outlined the potential benefits of joining ISA, including the promotion and development of solar technologies in the country, as well as benefits from a variety of arrangements, such as assistance for project and program studies and assessments, investment mobilization, technical backstopping, and knowledge sharing.

Lyonpo also stated that the MoEA has completed the final national interest analysis and stakeholder consultations on Bhutan’s membership to ISA.

The House debated on the framework agreement’s benefits, drawbacks, social, economic, cultural, and environmental ramifications, and voted to support all 14 of the agreement’s articles. The ratification of the framework agreement on solar energy is expected to facilitate the promotion and development of solar technologies in the country, as well as provide benefits to the country through a variety of arrangements, such as assistance with project and program studies and assessments, investment mobilization, technical backstopping, and knowledge sharing.

The framework agreement will be presented to the National Council for its approval.

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