Graduation Date

Spring 2023

Document Type



Master of Science degree with a major in Environmental Systems, option Energy, Technology, and Policy

Committee Chair Name

Dr. Arne E Jacobson

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Dr. Peter Alstone

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Dr. Kevin Fingerman

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff


Techno-economic analysis, Solar potential, Bhutan, Levelized cost of energy

Subject Categories

Environmental Resources Engineering


Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology, which captures energy from the sun, is a rapidly growing technology. Bhutan’s heavy dependence on a single energy source, hydropower, has become a significant concern for energy security. To address this, the Government of Bhutan intends to diversify energy sources using alternative renewable sources.

This research determined that Bhutan has the total potential to develop 3 gigawatts (GW) of solar power based on the utilization of about 7,100 acres of suitable land. The study also identified Tenchhekha, near the capital city of Thimphu, as a potential solar power plant location, with a capacity of 4.85 MWp that could be built on 17.49 acres of land. The estimated total project cost is Ngultrum (Nu.) 238 million ($3 million).

The Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) of the Tenchhekha solar PV plant was estimated to be Nu. 3.63 per kWh ($0.05 per kWh). The project’s feasibility is contingent upon electricity tariff rates, as indicated by the IRR. The result shows that with an unsubsidized tariff rate of Nu.5.06 per kWh ($0.06 per kWh), the project’s IRR was 14.98 percent. However, the IRR decreased to 1.29 percent with the current generation electricity tariff of Nu. 1.6 per kWh ($0.02 per kWh), and 9.54 percent with the Mangdichhu hydropower plant generation tariff of Nu.3.64 per kWh ($0.05 per kWh). Therefore, to encourage the adoption of alternative renewables, particularly solar, policy initiatives are needed to establish tariff rates that incentivize development.

Furthermore, additional in-depth studies, including measurement of solar irradiance at the location, a site survey, and a detailed analysis of project implementation requirements, are recommended.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location


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