April 29, 2014

Norway Allocates USD 5.7M Grant to Study Three New Power Projects in Asia

Parts of the grant would be used to improve energy efficiency and to encourage renewable energy use 

The Norwegian government allocated USD 5.7M for the country to conduct pre-feasibility studies of three new hydropower projects, improve energy efficiency and encourage renewable energy use, recently.

The grant will be used to conduct studies on how best to develop hydropower projects of 104MW Zhongarchhu in Mongar, 153MW Dagachhu-II and 2,800MW Manas, the priority projects under the 11th Plan.

Economic affairs officials said the money was for the first phase of the climate change initiative called Energy+, first partnership models in the world between the two governments to improve efficiency and access to sustainable energy.

The first phase of the project would be envisioned for the preparatory stage and the second and third phases would be directed for the implementation of the projects.

The fund would be allocated based on results achieved in second and third phase.

The Norwegian government, however, committed USD 17M for the entire project.

Part of the fund would also be allocated to help the government prepare a Renewable Energy Master Plan and National Energy Efficiency Policy.

Renewable energy department chief engineer Meewang Gyeltshen said after knowing the availability of resources, a master plan had to be developed to see which projects were feasible.

“Although we have a renewable energy policy, we have to develop rules and regulations to implement it,” he said, adding the fund would also be used to develop one.

Beside, he said, some fund would also be allocated to study the commercial feasibility of the 30MW solar power project in Bumthang.

Frameworks like guaranteed purchase scheme and carbon credit registration mechanism would also be developed through the fund.

The Norwegian government directed the fund through Asian Development Bank (ADB) because they did not have the human resources in the country to monitor it.

The ADB is, however, charging the administration fee from the grant for monitoring the projects.
The money would also be used to improve energy security in the country, which relied heavily on run-of-the-river hydropower plants, which when dry in winters, led to subsequent drop in electricity generation.
A press release from ADB office stated the needed to diversify its energy sources.

Meanwhile another USD 1.5M grant from the Japanese fund for poverty reduction and USD 250,000 grant from the Multi Donor Trust Fund is being channeled through the ADB to manage the water resources.
National Environment Commission and agriculture department would be the beneficiaries of the fund to complete the National Integrated Water Resources Management Plan and the National Irrigation Plan.

No comments:

Post a Comment