Himalayan Hydropower and Gross National Happiness (GNP)

Green Power Development Project – Construction of Dagachhu Hydropower Development in Bhutan

1) The Technology In Use ===  Hydroelectric Power Generation

The tiny nation of Bhutan, nestled high in the Himalayan Mountains, is poised to become an energy superpower.  Its prime position between two populous and growing nations – China and India – means it has the opportunity to utilize vast natural resources of flowing water and cutting edge technology of hydroelectric dams.  In a quest to attract clean, green and sustainable businesses, the nation continues to construct mega dams including:

Tala hydroelectric project (2007): located on the Wangchu River; gravity dam technology generates 3.821 GWh power solely for India and is delivered through transmission lines.

Chhukha hydroelectric project (1970s): located on the Wangchhu River; gravity dam technology generates 1.700 GWh.

Kurichhu hydroelectric project (2001): located on the Kuri Chhu River; gravity dam technology generates 0.379 GWh.

Basochhu hydroelectric project (Plant I & Plant II, 1997-2004): located near Wangdue Phodrang; dam technology generates 0.334 GWh.

Dagachhu hydroelectric project (Feb. 2015): located on Dagachhu River; gravity dam technology generates power for India.  First cross-border CDM of the UNFCCC.

Buhtan

2) The Sustainability Problem ===

Population:  China and India represent 20% and 17% of the world’s population, respectively.  At the current growth rate, India is expected to surpass China in the next few decades.

Economic Growth: As more people in India rise out of poverty, per capita energy consumption increases.

Clean Energy: Coal, kerosene and wood burning are the common methods of energy generation in poor households and small villages where electricity is not available. Hydroelectric power is a renewable energy source which does not emit harmful GHGs.

Ecological Preservation: Harnessing hydro electric power while maintaining national commitment to environmental sustainability.

3) The Technology Stakeholders ===

Contractors (designers, workers, operators)

Suppliers of component parts

Government of Bhutan

India Consumers

Individual residents/consumers

Bhutan Utility subsidiary

India Utility distributor

4) Process for Technology Implementation ===

Identify needs of India consumers/population

Determine economic efficiency/profitability; cost of tech vs ROI

Educate/Inform Bhutan residents of impact on natural environment

Monitor energy output from plant and consumption in India

Foster collaboration between nations under multilateral organization

Share new technology and best practices